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By G. I. MILES, 










The Compiler of this little volume has been im 
;»i-essed for a considerable time, with the persuasion 
that a short history of the denomination to which he 
belongs, and is ardently attached, was loudly and ex- 
tensively called for by many members of our churches 
m Pennsylvania and elsewhere. After waiting in 
vain for some one better qualified than himself to 
undertake the labor, he has after much hesitation, 
and with many fears prepared the present volume, and 
now commends it to such notice and regard as his 
brethren and others may see proper to bestow. 

Neither honor nor profit has been an object with 
the writer. He has not aimed at originality, but given 
to a considerable extent the words of others. The 
substance of the volume is taken from Benedict's 
valuable " History of the Baptists," while extracts 
have been made from "Jones' Church History," and 
"Allen's Register." 

Aware that many feel unable to purchase a larger 
work, who are comparatively ignorant of the rise and 
progress of the denomination, and who are frequently 


interrogated on these points, the Author feels desi^ 
reus that that ignorance may be removed, and those 
interrogatories answered, and will feel himself amply 
rewarded if he shall have hereby contributed any 
thing to that desirable end. 

With respect to the selection and the arrangement 
of the matter contained in this volume, the Author 
can only say that here was the great difficulty. A large 
field was to be brought into a narrow compass, and to 
do it in the best manner has been his aim: whether 
he has succeeded or not, the reader must judge. 

If it be thought that the "Triennial Register" is 
sufficient for the demands of the denomination, the 
writer begs leave to dissent from such an opinion, 
while he yields to none in placing a high estimate 
upon the advantages and excellence of that work» 
He does believe that these volumes may lie together 
in more than harmony, that they will be read together, 
with satisfaction and profit by every one at all inter- 
ested in the subjects they embrace. 

The writer's extensive acquaintance with the 

churches in Pennsylvania, leads him to believe that 

not only a proper construction will be put upon this 

effort to advance their interests, but that they will 

extend to it their cordial welcome. In submitting it 

to them, he commends it to the blessing of the Great 

Head of the Church, with the earnest prayer that he 

may use it to promote in some measure his rising 




>. 'A> 




The advent of the Lord Jesus Christ into this 
woild, the introdu2tion of the dispensation of his 
gospel, and the succession of his heavenly conquests 
over the influence of Satan and the oppositions of de- 
praved men, are subjects of intense interest to the 
mind of man, as they involve his present and future 
welfare or woe. The first was at a period declared 
to be the " fulness of time;" a period of longing ex. 
pectation of an event so glorious. The darkness 
in which the Jewish nation was shrouded had become 
gross, when spiritual light rose upon the world, in 
the introduction of a system of divine contrivance for 
its universal illumination. The voice of one crying in 
the wilderness was scarcely heard, until the banks of 
Jordan witnessed the preparation of the way of the 
Lord, declared his revealed glory, and gave the blest 
assarancea of the reign of Messiah. There stood one un- 

A 2 



obtrusive and unobserved, to whom, however, at the 
proper moment the finger of John was directed, as he 
cried out, " behold the Lamb of God, who taketh 
away the sin of the world !" He had come from 
Galilee unto John, and was baptised by him in Jor- 
dan. Upon his coming up out of the water, a voice 
from heaven was heard, saying this is my beloved son 
in whom I am well pleased. 

Jesus now begins to preach, and gathering around 
him a few disciples with a crowd of astonished fol- 
lowers, discourses upon the high mysteries of redemp- 
tion. Some believed, but more derided. He wrought 
ihe most astonishing miracles to confirm his doctrine, 
but Scribes and Pharisees and the rulers of the peo- 
ple became enraged ; the populace was inflamed ; 
Jesus was betrayed, brought before Pilate's bar and 
condemned, and the streets of Jerusalem were filled 
with the multitude crying, away with him, crucify 
him. He was led to Calvary, elevated upon the cross, 
and amid the sympathy of the heavens, the groans of 
the earth, and the noisy rage of infuriate men he 
died. But he rose again, visited his friends, and as- 
cended up on high leading captivity captive, having 
obtained gifts for men, even the rebellious. 

The disciples wondered, wept, but rejoiced again ; 
assembled at Jerusalem with one accord in one place, 
the prophecy of Joel was fulfilled, the baptism of 
overwhelming of the spirit was enjoyed, their un- 
derstandings were illuminated, their love became ar- 
dent, and their zeal and courage were inflamed. 

( ■? ) 

In the well ordered Providence of God there were 
assembled at Jerusalem, a vast concourse of peo- 
ple belonging to different nations and tongues, 
before whom the marvellous transactions of Penta= 
cost were wrought. These became the pioneers of the 
truth they had heard the uninstructed Apostles utter 
in their own language. Here was the wisdom, here 
the power of God. That memorable day brought an 
accession of three thousand souls to the little compa- 
ny of believers. Emboldened by success, and directed 
by the Spirit, they preached the word of the Lord 
successfully throughout Judea and the surrounding 
countries, God bearing ihem witness both with signs 
and wonders, so that in a little time the Gospel was 
borne to a great part of the extensive empire of Rome, 
which embraced at this period most of the civilized 
world. Robinson, in his Ecclesiastical Researches 
has shown that, the Apostles and other preachers 
gathered churches in between sixty and seventy dif- 
ferent towns, cities and provinces, and in some in- 
stances a number in each. 

These successes were sufficient to inflame the en- 
mity of both Jews and Pagans, who soon kindled up 
the fires of persecution, and it is supposed that dur- 
ing the first three centuries, three millions of Chris- 
tians were sacrificed to the fury of their enemies, in 
the ten general persecutions which took place under 
as many emperors. The priests employed all their 
eloquence to cast reproach upon the Nazarenes, and 
to rouse the etorm of hatred against them. They made 


accusations of the most malicious character, laying 
to their charge even earthquakes, famines, and pesti= 
lences, and the whole list of the calamities with which 
the nations were visited. Thus was the rage of ma- 
gistrates brought upon them in the most cruel forms ; 
many were destroyed by wild beasts in the face of 
thousands of beholders, some were dressed in garments 
of combustible materials which were set on fire, some 
were hung upon crosses, and many thousands suffered 
by the most excruciating tortures that could be in- 
vented. Some it is true, who professed to be Chris- 
tians apostatised, but the number was astonishingly 
small. True religion never prospered more than in 
these perilous times, for as it has been often observed, 
** the blood of the martyrs became the seed of the 

In the fourth century the aspect of affairs assumed 
a totally different character. The Roman emperor 
Constantino acknowledged the Christian faith, abol- 
ished the edicts of persecuting predecessors, and 
established this religion by law. These things were 
regarded as a most favorable interposition, and con- 
sidered the firm foundations of prosperity ; but which, 
(as will soon be seen,) were pregnant with mischief 
and injury. It was pleasant to behold the fires of 
persecution quenched, the worshippers of God unmo- 
lested, and the monarch offering with them his devo- 
tions, and the proud and imposing system of paganism 
falling into contempt; but the legal establishment of 
religign essentially mars the beauties of the scene. 


" When princes undertake in religion, they do toe 
much for it, or against it." The whole appearance of 
Christianity was then excessively splendid, houses of 
the most beautiful and expensive character were 
erected for the worship of God, and the pastors of 
churches were greatly honored ; in a word the muni- 
ficence of royalty was bestowed to support religion. 
Whilst many were elated, the judicious trembled at 
the imposing spectacle, and judged, correctly too, 
that the apparent benefits were too dearly purchased. 
Amidst the grandeur of its appearance but little of 
the genuine spirit of religion was visible. Pastors 
became proud, multitudes entered the church for 
preferments; errors, superstition, and pompous rites 
were introduced, and an oppressive load of evils was 
accumulated from which the church has not yet fully 
recovered. The bishop of the Church at Rome be- 
came pre-eminent, while those of Antioch, Alexan- 
dria, and Constantinople were greatly exalted, and as 
might be expected, the foundation was laid for strife 
and vain glory. 


From various circumstances claims our particular 
notice. It was at first, no more than a small body of 
believers meeting for worship in the hired house of 
the prisoner Paul. It appears certain, that for a long 
time it was scarcely known to the great body of the 
people, and that its bishop or overseer merely super» 

( 10) 

intended his own little flock, and we conceive wae 
never troubled by day or night with dreams of bug- 
cessorship ; or that those who succeeded him would 
rise to such blasphemous distinction as they did as- 
sume after the lapse of a few centuries ; or that they 
should prostrate emperors and kings in submission at 
their feet. By a gradual process of assumption, the 
title of Universal Bishop was acquired by Boniface 
III., through the Emperor Phocas, in 606, from 
which period the rise of Anti-christ is frequently 
dated. In less than 500 years from this time, one 
hundred and fourteen were elevated to the Papal 

V/e have not space for the history of the Roman 
Pontiffs, suffice it to say, that it is with few excep- 
tions, replete with wickedness and outrage truly 
shocking to the feelings of every pious reader. 

Not satisfied with their spiritual dominion, they 
sought and obtained a temporal authority, which ex- 
tended to the dethronement of kings and their ex- 
communication from the church. This height of arro- 
gance was attained by Gregory VII., who had been a 
monk by the name of Hildebrand, or as Benedict says 
he might more properly be called Firebrand. He 
assumed a number of vain and blasphemous appella- 
tions, and his whole career was one of tumult and 

" The pope of Rome has always been surrounded 
by ten thousand satellites, all receiving their light, or 
rather their darkness from him. But above them all 

(11 ) 

are seventy. two cardinals, by whom he is elected. 
Armies of monks and ministers stand ready to obey 
his summons, and are dispersed in every country to 
execute his high commands." 

" Cardinal Ruixoga Archbishop of Toledo, in 
Spain, had under his command in 1764, the chapters 
of one hundred and eight cathedrals, the members of 
312 colleges, the governors and officers of two thou- 
sand and eight hospitals, the parish priests of more 
than twerty-one thousand cities, towns and villages, 
the officers of all the courts of inquisition, and of the 
chancery of Castile &c. Yet this great man was no- 
thing but a tool of the Pope." 

In this place did our limits allow, notice might, be 
taken of the religious orders of priests, monks, nuns, 
friars, &c., and also of the councils, crusades, the 
doctrine and sale of indulgencies, &;c., but we pass 
these items of painful interest, to a very brief notice 
of ihe persecutions carried on by this blood thirsty 

It has been supposed that, three millions of lives 
have been sacrificed to the rage of the papal power, 
of which one million were of the people called Wal- 
denses, or Albigenses, of whom we will soon take oc- 
casion to speak more particularly. In France during 
a period of thirty years, there were murdered, 39 
princes, 143 counts, 234 barons, 147,518 gentlemen, 
and 760,000 persons of inferior rank in life. Of these 
about 70,000 were butchered in Paris on the night of 
St. Bartholomews, Augu&t 24th, 1572. Forty thou- 

( 12) 

sand perished in the Irish massacre in 1641, about 
50,900 in the Netherlands, and 26 ministers, and 250 
persons of different ranks, during the short reign of 
the bloody Mary of England. The Jesuits in 30 or 
40 years are said to have put to death 900,000 chris- 
tians, who deserted popery ; and 150,000 in the space 
of about 30 years, suffered death iu the most herrid 
forms by the inquisition. 

With all these things before us, although the pow' 
er of the Roman Pontiff be greatly abridged, it be- 
comes us to exercise the greatest vigilance lest he 
resume his authority and unsheath again the sword of 


is a large body of Christians, residing in the East 
and said to be as large as the Romish, and perhaps as 
much loaded with unnecessary ceremonies ; but not 
sunk so deep in absurdity and blood. 

The emperor Constantino soon after he embraced 
Christianity, removed the sent of his empire from 
Rome to Byzantium, in Thrace, which he enlarged, 
adorned, and called Constantinople. It is now the 
seat of the Turkish emperor. In the time of Con- 
stantine, Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople, and 
Sylvester of Rome. These two struggled hard for 
dominion, and finally divided the command of all the 


churches which would submit to their authority. 
The former assumed the title of patriarch, the latter 
of pope, or father. Both claimed the title of univer- 
sal bishop, which the emperor Phocas finally confer- 
red upon the Pops in the year 606. They however 
continued their rivalry and animosity without an open 
rupture, until the 11th century when they anathema- 
tised each other, and totally separated. 

Besides the patriarch just mentioned, there are 
three others, who reside at Jerusalem, Antioch, and 
Alexandria, but the patriarch of Constantinople is 
head of the Greek church, and nominates the othera, 
with all the Episcopal dignitaries of the church. He 
is elected by twelve bishops who reside nearest the 
capitol, while the right of confirming his election be- 
longs to the Turkish emperor. The government of 
the Church is reputed a mild aristocracy. Persecu- 
tion has never been carried to a great extent, which 
may be owing to the mildness of the spirit of the 
churcli, or to its external circumstances, hemmed in 
and restrained as it is by the Mahometan power. 

The Greek and Roman churches, have always em- 
braced the great majority of the Christian world con- 
taining perhaps together, one fifth of the inhabitants 
of the globe ; yet the humble and consistent followers 
of Christ, have most generally, been found in the 
communion of those who have dissented from thenu 
Of the Greek dissenters accounts have been givea 
that are not in all respects to be depended upon, but 
" ths sum of the matter seems to be that the establish- 



ed Greek Church held both the subject and mode ot 
baptism, as the first institution prescribed for four or 
five hundred years, losing the subject by degrees but 
retaining the mode to this day ; and that the bulk of 
the dissenters, perhaps all, retained both the subject 
and the mode, always dipping, and never dipping any 
but on their own personal profession of faith." With 
them agree the Waldenses, and others who rejected 
the vain assumptions of the church at Rome. 


Among all the sects of ancient times, none has been 
so highly regarded as that of the Waldenses. Their his- 
tory has undergone a most diligent search by all parties 
of Protestants in defence of their peculiar sentiments. 
A line of succession down from the Apostles, seemed 
necessary to refute the charges that they were new 
sects, made against them by the Catholics. This in- 
duced many learned men to examine the Waldensian 
records with great care and attention. They had no 
thought O'f assisting the cause of the Baptists, who 
were then greatly despised, but it so happened that, 
most important evidence was furnished in favor of our 
claims to the Waldenses as our predecessors. 

" Little" says Robinson " did the Old Waldenses 
tkink. when they were held in universal abhorrence 
and committed everywhere to the flames, that a time 
would come when the honor of a connection with 


them would be disputed by different parties of the 
highest reputation." 

One observation respecting this people may here 
be made. Attempts have been made by some to 
prove them all Baptists^ by others all Pedo Baptists. 
Both attempt to prove too much, for it is evident that 
there were included under the name of Waldenses, 
a considerable variety of sentiments and characters. 
The term was used as that of Non Conformist in Eng- 
land, which comprehends a number of sects. It is 
necessary therefore to distinguish between the origi- 
nal Waldenses, and the promiscu#us assemblage upon 
whom the name is conferred. 

Concerning the origin of the Waldenses, and the 
manner in which they received their name, there are 
various opinions entertained. The papists and some 
others date their commencement in the twelfth 
century, under the famous reformer Peter Waldo. 
The Cathclics feel of course an interest in disputing 
their antiquity, and Protestants in maintaining it. 
Robinson and Milner consider Claude, bishop of 
Turin their founder. The former calls him the Wick- 
liff of Turin, the latter the Christian Hero of ihe ninth 
century. He bore indeed, a noble testimony against 
the errors of that time, and no doubt promoted the 
cause of the disputes through his piety and zeal ; but 
various testimonies make it most probable that, there 
were Christians of the same character as the Walden- 
ses long before the time of Claude. 

Dr. Allix in his history of the Churches of Pied- 


mont, gives this account of the Waldenses : That for 
three hundred or more years, the Bishop of Rome 
attempted to subjugate the Church of Milan, who 
rather than submit to such jurisdiction, retired to the 
vallies of Lucerne and Angrogne, and thence were 
called Vallenses, Wallenses, or the people of the vallies. 

President Edwards makes the following observa- 
tions : it is supposed that these people first betook 
themselves to this desert secret place among the 
mountains, to hide themselves from the severity of the 
heathen persecutions before the time of Constantino, 
and thus the woman fled into the wilderness from the 
face of the serpent. 

Cranz in his history of the United Brethren gives 
this statement ,* these ancient Christians date their 
origin from the beginning of the Fourth Century ; 
when one Leo, at the great revolution in religion 
under Cofistantine, opposed the innovations of Syl- 
vester, bishop of Rome- 

The cruel Inquisitor Reinerus, spent much time 
in examining these people, and observes, *' that 
some aver their existence from the days of Sylvester, 
and others from the very time of the Apostles," and 
he admits that they flourished five hundred years 
before Peter Waldo. This account seems to have 
come from the Waldenses themselves, and appears to 
be the truth. The doctrine they maintained was 
that of the Apostles, and as a body they existed from 
the time of Sylvester, when the Church sunk into 
superstition and formality* 

( 17 ) 

All testimony it seems sustains the high antiquity 
of this body of Christians, and some popish writers 
own that they never submitted to the Church of 
Rome, and all acknowledge that her persecutions 
could never extirpate them. 

In relation to the name of this people, it may be 
interesting to make several quotations from Jones' 
Church History, a work which we take the liberty to 
recommend to all our readers. After noticing the 
opinion of Mosheim, that they received their name 
from Peter Waldo, which is contradicted by his learn- 
ed translator, and most other writers of authority, he 
says *' the naost satisfactory definition of the term 
Waldenses is that given by Robinson in his Eccle- 
siastical Researches, which is, that from the Latin word 
Vallis, came the English Valley, the French and 
Spanish Valle, the Italian Valdesi, the Low Dutch 
Valleye, the Provincial Vaux, Vaudois, the ecclesias- 
tical, Valdenses and Waldenses. The words simply 
signify Valleys, inhabitants of valleys, and no more. 
It happened that the inhabitants of the vallies of the 
Pyrenees did not profess the Catholic faith ; it fell 
out also that the inhabitants of the vallies about the 
Alps did not embrace it ; it happened moreover that 
in the ninth century, one Valdo a friend and counsel- 
lor of Berengarius, and a man of eminence who had 
many followers did not approve of the papal discipline 
and doctrine ; and it came to pass about a hundred 
and thirty years after, that a rich merchant of Lyons 
who was called Valdus or Waldo, because he received 


his religious notions from the inhabitants of the val- 
leys, openly disavowed the Roman Catholic religion, 
supported many to teach the doctrines believed in the 
valleys, and became the instrument of the conversion 
of great numbers : all these people were called Wal- 
denses. This view of the matter is also supported 
by their own historians Perrin, Leger, Sir S. Mor- 
land, and Dr. Alix." 

" The names imposed upon them in France by 
their adversaries have been intended to vilify and 
ridicule them, or to represent them as new and dif- 
ferent sects. Being stripped of all their property by 
persecution they have been called *' the poor of 
Lyons." From their mean appearance in their ex- 
iled and destitute state, they have been called in pro- 
Tincial jargon "Siccan'* or pickpockets. Because 
they would not observe Saints' days, they were falsely 
supposed to neglect the Sabbath also, and called " In- 
zabbatati or Insabbathists." As they denied tran- 
substantiation, they were called " Arians." Their 
adversaries premising that all power must be derived 
from God through his vicegerent the Pope, or from 
an opposite or evil spirit, inferred that they were 
Manichaeans"* because they denied the Pope's su- 

* The sect of Maniehaeans derived its origin from 
Manes, or Manichaeus, a Persian who embraced Christi- 
anity about the[end of the third century. He believed that 
there are two principles from which all things proceed, one 
called Light, the other Darkness, who rule all things. 

( 19 )■ 

"In Languedoc, the Catholics pretended that their 
origin was recent, and that their name was derived 
from Waldo; but this was rather the renovation of 
the name from a particular cause, than its original ; 
accordingly it extended over that district only in 
France where Waldo preached ; for in other districts 
the people who were branches of the same original 
sect, as in Dauphine, were from a noted preacher cal- 
led Josephists, in Languedoc, Henricians, — and in 
other provinces, from Peter de Bruys, they were cal- 
led Petrobrusians. Sometimes they received their 
name from their manners, as '* Catharists," (Puri- 
tans,) and from the foreign country whence it was 
pretended they had been expelled, they were cal- 
led *' Bulgarians" or Bougres. In Italy they were 
commonly called Fraticelli, that ia men of the broth- 
erhood. Sometimes they were denominated " Pau- 
licians," and by a corruption of the word, " Publi- 
cans." Sometimes they were named from the coun- 
try, or city in which they prevailed, as Lombardists, 
Toulousians, and Albigenses. This last became 
their common name in France, from the great num- 
ber that inhabited the city of Alby and the district 
of Albigeois, but was not general and confirmed until 
after the Council of Alby 1254, which condemned 
them as heretics. When the Popes issued their fulmi- 
nations, and persecutions were carried on against them 
under the appellation of Albigenses, it was for pro- 
fessing the faith of the Waldenses." 
The doctrinal sentiments as we have hinted, a« 

.( 20 ) 

well as the origin and name of the Waldenses, have 
been subjected to a very thorough examination. Who- 
ever will undertake to determine what were the sen- 
timents of this people, must remember that all here- 
tics, as they were termed by Catholics, were con- 
sidered under the general term Waldenses hy 
their adversaries^ and that therefore no particular 
branch maintained all the views attributed to 
them. Upon this point, we direct the reader to 
the second section of the fifth chapter of Jones' 
Church History, where, in relation to the testimony 
of Inquisitors and others of the Catholic Church, 
especially that of Claudius Seiselius, archbishop of 
Turin, a resident in the very heart of the Valleys of 
Piedmont, he uses this language ; " Such is the des- 
cription given us of the Waldenses of Piedmont 
before Luther was born, or Calvin thought of, or the 
term Reformation ever mentioned." And yet the 
Catholics have had the effrontery to ask us, " Where 
was your religion before Luther ?" From this, the 
reader will doubtless imagine the principles of the 
Waldenses to be the very principles of the Reforma- 
tion, as in fact they were, with the exception of per- 
haps, a greater degree of purity and gospel simplicity 
to characterise them. 

Wfc will now attend to the testimony of different 
jparties, corcerning the views of the Waldenses upon 
the subject of Baptism, merely promising that this 
has reference only to the proper subjects of the ordi- 
nance, and not the mode of administration, as upon 

( 21 } 

that point there was then but one opinion,* and that 
one of the principal sins laid to their charge was the 
denial of infant baplibm. 

In a Confession of Faith submitted by them to the 
French King in 1544, we find this article ; " We 
believe that in the ordinance of Baptism, the water 
is the visible and external sign which represents to 
us that which by virtue of God's invisible operation 
is within us, namely the renovation of our minds aad 
the mortification of our members through (the faith 
of) Jesus Christ. And by this ordinance we are 
received into the holy congregation of God's people, 
previously professing and declaring our faith and 
change of life."! 

In " A treatise concerning Antichrist, Purgatory, 
the Invocation of Saints, and the Sacraments," which 
is said to bear date A. D. 1120, nearly half a century 
before the time of Waldo, and attributed to the pen 
of Peter de Bruys, is the following remark, in the 
description given of Antichrist ; " He teaches to 
baptize children into the faith, and attributes to this 
the work of regeneration ; thus confounding the work 
of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, with the external 
rite of baptism, and on this foundation bestows orders 
and indeed grounds all his Christianity.":}: 

Chessanion in his history of the Albigenses, after 
mentioning the suspense in which he had been held, 
and some reasons for his conclusion, says; " the 

* See chapter on the History of Baptism in this work. 
t Jones' Ch. Hist. 2 vol. p. 47. ± Same, page 51. 


truth is ihey did not reject the sacrament (of baptism) 
and say it was useless, but only counted it unneces- 
sary to infants, because they are not of age to believe. 
nor capable of giving evidence of their faith." 

Dr. Wall in his history of Infant Baptism, speak- 
ing of the Petrobrussians, says ; " withdrawing them- 
selves about the year 1100 from the communion of 
the Church of Rome, which was then very corrupt, 
they did reckon infant baptism as one of the corrup- 
tions, and accordingly renounced it and practised 
only adult baptism."' 

Mosheim, speaking of Peter de Bruys, says ; " it 
is certain that one of his tenets was that no persons 
whatever vvere to be baptized before they were come 
to the full use of reason." 

Bishop Bossuet, a Catholic, complaining of Cal- 
vin's party for claiming Apostolical succession through 
the Waldenses, observes, " You adopt Henry and 
Peter de Bruys among your predecessors, but both of 
these every body knows were Anabaptists." 

" The Waldenses," says Franco witz " scent a 
little of Anabaptism, but they were nothing like the 
Anabaptists of our times." '• Yes," replies Lim- 
borch, a learned Professor of Divinity in the Univer- 
sity of Amsterdam, " to speak candidly what I think 
of all the modern sects of Christians, the Dutch Bap- 
tists most resemble both the Albigenses and the Wal- 

Other testimony could be furnished, but we merely 
add the following from Mosheim, who notwithstand* 


ing the hard names he has bestowed upon us, settles 
the connection claimed between us and the people 
under consideration. "The true origin of that sect 
which acquired the denomination of the Anabaptists, 
by their administering anew the rite of baptism, and 
derived the name of Mennonist from the famous man 
to whom they owe the greatest part of their present 
felicity, is hid in the remote depths of antiquity, and 
is of consequence difficult to be ascertained." 

We present our humble thanks to the Dr. for this 
concession, and dismiss this matter by expressing the 
opinion, that the original Waldenses were what are 
now termed baptists in sentiment and practice, and 
that the same may be said of all their prominent rsen, 
whilst some other dissenters from the church of 
Rome obtained a residence and a name with them, 
where they practised infant baptism unmolested. 

To the character of the Waldenses &;c., for piety 
and all moral excellence, the strongest evidence is 
afforded even by their enemies. Their numbers, 
though not exactly known, must hav3 been very con- 
siderable. The persecutions they suffered were fre- 
quent and in some instances of the most horrid kind; 
they are presented in detail in Jones' Church His- 


The principles of the Waldenses and others, could 
but exert a powerful influence against the vain pre= 

( 24 ) /' 

tensions of the Pope, nor fail to produce a number of 
men of piety and talents, to advance the work of re- 
forming the abuses and abominations of the church 
of Rome. Hence, we have seen that the earliest en- 
croachments upon the purity and liberty of the church- 
es were resistedj'and that every successive step in the 
assumption of power was disputed. Even after the 
Papacy was established most firmly, and faggots and 
flame and every species of horrid death, was the por- 
tion of the heretic, some were found willing to peril 
and lose their lives for the truth's sake ; and who, in the 
noble resistance they offered, struck terror to the very 
seat of the beast. Claude, Peter De Bruys, Henry, 
Waldo, Wickliff, Kuss, and Jerome of Prague, are 
names that will be revered wherever true religion is 
felt. Either of them might hare overthrown the Pa- 
pal structure, had the time arrived for it. But this 
wag reserved in the providence of God for another. 

In the year 151T, when the Pontiff of Rome felt a 
perfect security from danger, and the pious had per- 
haps almost despaired of reformation, an obscure in- 
dividual arose, and began a successful career of oppo- 
sition to papal ambition. This was Martin Luther, 
who was born in Saxony in 14S3. Of a bold and fearless 
spirit, be seemed qualified for the arduous and dan- 
gerous enterprise, to w^hich no doubt he was appoint- 
ed by Divine Providence. To dwell upon his charac- 
ter or history, would not comport with the design of 
this work, suffice it therefore to say that, he does not 
appear to have had in view in the onset of his ca- i 

\ ( 25 ) 

Tecr, any thing more than an opposition to the abomi- 
nable traffic of indulgencies, or to correct some errors, 
and reform some abuses in the church of Rome, bHt 
was led finally, to perceive the impossibility of puri- 
fying the corrupt mass, and therefore, the necessity 
of founding a church in direct opposition to it. His 
successes encouraged many to rally round his stan- 
dard, and henceforth the principles of the Reforma- 
tion spread rapidly throughout Europe ; and multitudes 
threw off the papal yoke. 

The reformation becoming soon a thing of political 
consequence, its glory was tarnished. Princes, tired 
of the domination of the Pope embraced the occasion 
offered, and declared on the side of Luther, and enter- 
ing into a confederacy with him, in 1529 presented a 
solemn protest against the oppressions of the Papal 
power. From this arose the denomination of Pro- 
testant, which is now given to all who reject the 
authority of the Roman Pontiff. Fearful struggles 
and bloody wars soon took place between Protestants 
and Papists, and cast a stain upon the history of the 

The Lutheran has been for 300 years, the estab- 
lished church in a considerable part of Europe. It is 
not in our apprehension sufficiently removed from 
Popery, for though Luther did much, he left much 
undone. He denied the Pope's supremacy, and the 
doctrines of purgatory, transubstantiation, &c., but 
made provision for an establishment of religion to be 
supported by civil power. He seemed to have but 


little notion of forniing churches of belierers onlj^^ 
but embraced all who lived within certain bounds, 
who assented to his creed. Transubstantiation he 
rejected, but would not admit that the bread and 
wine were only symbols, but maintained that the body 
and blood of Christ were really present in the sacra- 
ment, the same as two elements are united in red hot 
iron. This was sailed consubstantialion, a word nearly 
as long, and which perhaps some readers would find 
a difficulty in preferring to transubstantiation. This 
church has its Augsburg confession, liturgies, holy 
days, its bishops, &c. It has but one Archbishop, 
who is the Primate of Sweden. 

From this Church sprung another called the Pwe- 
formed, founded by Zuinglius, who began his career 
of opposition to the papacy in Switzerland, about>the 
same time that Luther commenced in Saxony. He 
differed in many respects from Luther, and was more 
correct in doctrine. He died in a battle fought be- 
tween the Protestants and Cathulics, in Urich, A. D. 
1530. The Reformed and Lutheran Churches pre- 
vail more or less in this country. 

John Calvin was born at Noyon, France, in 1509, 
and commenced his career immediately after Luther 
and Zuinglius. There was at first, a perfect agree- 
ment between these great men, but its continuance 
was brief. He was a man of superior talents and 
learning, and also surpassed his cotemporaries in ob- 
stinacy, asperity and turbulence. With Luther, he 
shares most of the glory of the Reformation. His 

( 27 ) 

views have been adopted by different parties, espe- 
cially the Presbyterians. 

The names of Melanethon, Carolostadt,Bucer, Eras- 
mus, Menno, Oecolampadius and others, shed lustre 
upon the history of those times, and must descend to 
latest times, in company with those of the more pro- 
minent instruments of religious emancipation. 

The Church of England, was founded by Henry 
VIII. who at first opposed the views of Luther, but 
because the Pope would not grant him a divorce, re- 
nounced his authority, and was declared by parlia- 
ment and people, Supreme Head on earth Of the 
Church of England. This was little more than an 
exchange of Popes, and the Church was not so much 
a new Church, as an old one dressed in a new fash- 
ion. Some improvements were effected in the feign 
of Edward VI. son of Henry and his successor. The 
occupant of the throne, whether male or female is the 
Head of the Church. 

During the reign of Edward VI. and Elizabeth 
arose the Puritans, so called from their dp.sire to have 
the Church purified. Under this name was compre- 
hended a variety of dissenters of different opinions 
and practices. From them came the Independents 
and many of the Baptists of England, Congregation- 
alists and others. 

The prominent protestant denominations of our 
day besides those named are the Methodists, Friends 
and Seceders. 



Having discovered in our researches a number of 
iects maintaining to some extent the principles of the 
Baptists, even in the dark ages of corruption, and 
having glanced at the Protestant Reformation, we 
present in this chapter, 


Baptism is in an institution of the Christian Law- 
giver, and was as ordained by him plain and signifi- 
cant, but became in the course of time loaded 
with unmeaning appendages, and in both subjects 
and mode matorially altered. Originally believers 
were the only subjects, and immersion the mode, but 
from professing believers it passed to catechumens, 
and then to infants, and from immersion it was redu- 
ced to pouring, and then to sprinkling, and now to 
any thing, provided a part of the person be wet. Its 
history is therefore, not only interesting but impor- 
tant, and presents a sufficiency of matter for volumes. 
Our limits will permit us only to glean a few items 
froj»* Benedict's ** Miniature History of Baptism," th« 


substance of which is obtained from Robinson, who 
wrote extensively upon the subject, but whose work 
I will not spread out before me lest I be tempted to 
draw upon it too largely. 

In the New Testament accounts of Baptism, we 
learn that the ordinance was first administered by 
John the Baptist, to Christ himself, and very many 
Jews who professed repentance. Every reader will 
be ready to admit that the subjects of John's baptism 
were all professed penitents, though some have pre- 
tended to find infants among them, an opinion so ab- 
surd that to name it seems sufficient to refute it, and 
hence very few Pedo baptist writers have advanced it. 

The Catholics held John in extravagant estima- 
tion, but modern Pedo baptists go to the other extreme 
and disparage both him and his ministry, contending 
that the rite he administered was not Christian bap- 
tism, but a continuation of Jewish ablutions, and 
that the gospel dispensation did not commence until 
after his death. He is thus placed in a forlorn condi- 
tion, neither Jew nor Christian, neither an Old Tes- 
tament Priest, nor a New Testament minister. 

From the fact that messengers were sent to John 
to enquire who he was, and from the acknowledg- 
ment that the origin of his baptism was unknown, it 
does seem really strange that he is to be turned over 
to the Jewish side. His ministry is called by Mark, 
" the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Jl .a 
of God," with which statement Baptists agree with- 
out any difficulty. 

( 30) 

This notion of John being under the law begets a& 
absurdity respecting the baptism of our Saviour, and 
a pamphlet was some time ago publishod, entitled 
*' The Baptism of Jesus Christ not to be imitated by 
Christians." It makes John a Jewish Priest baptis- 
ing Christ into his priestly office. These were great 
discoveries, and appearing to afford some relief to 
the tottering cause of infant baptism, have gona 
an extensive round among its supporters. 

The propositions contained in the above work have 
been refuted by Baptist writers. The substance of 
their arguments is that, had Christ been about to be 
consecrated a Priest, John in his coarse dress was not 
the person to officiate, it belonged to the sons of 
Aaron with their priestly vestments ; — the consecra- 
tion was to be at the door of the tabernacle, and not 
on the banks of the Jordtin ; again, none but the 
tribe of Levi and house of Aaron could be admitted 
to the priesthood, and Christ was of the tribe of Judah; 
finally Christ was a priest after the order of Melchi- 
ledec and not after the order of Aaron. 

These plain scriptural facts are sufficient to over- 
turn all the arguments based upon so novel aa 
assumption, and the Baptists have always felt a plea- 
sure in being buried with Christ according to his com- 
mand and example, nor have they felt themselves at 
all guilty of " delusion, superstition or impiety^* m 
s9 doing. They cannot consent to have John removed 
from the dispensation of the gospel, and his ministry 
so lightly esteemed, nor can they resist the impres- 

(31 ) 

sion that had his name been John the Pedo baptist) 
and had he sprinkled children in the Synagogues or 
the temple, from a cup or basin, that those who speak 
of him in the manner just named, would esteem him 
very highly, and find for him an honorable place ia 
the dispensation of the gospel. 

The whole account of baptism furnished in the 
New Testament is plain and intelligible. That in 
the Acts of Apostles, embracing a period of thirty 
years, shows us believers, both men and women, but 
not one infant baptised, though it is almost certain 
that in that time some children were born of believ= 
ing parents. All attempts to di&cover the baptism of 
infants in the Bible, have been and must continue to 
be in vain, as some Pedo baptists themselves ac" 

In the primitive ages of the Church baptism was 
confined to professing believers, and it was not until the 
third century that there was any innovation upon it. 
It is true that Irenasus who lived in the second cen- 
tury, is represented as saying that the Church receiv- 
ed a tradition from the Apostles to baptise little chil- 
dren or infants, but Dr. Gill challenged the literary 
world to produce such a passage in the writings of this 
father. Origen of the third, and not Irenasus of the 
second century, it has been acknowledged was the 
writer who made the assertion. Tertullian of Africa 
in the third century makes mention of infant baptism, 
but as Dr. Gill says, he opposed it. His opposition is 
considered evidence of its existence, but certainly 

( 33 ) 

not conclusive, because he may have contended 
against those who about that time were disposed to 
introduce it into the church. This does appear to b® 
the truth of the matter, as the catechumen state had 
then reached some degree of maturity, and the tran- 
sition from the baptism of catechumens to very young 
persons and thence to mere children seems easy. 

Catechumens were those who were put into classes 
to be catechised and instructed in the rudiments of 
Christianity, and attaining a certain degree of knowl- 
edge were baptised. Nothing of this is found in the 
New Testament, and at what period it commenced is 
uncertain, but is supposed to have originated some 
time towards the close of the second century at Alex- 
andria in Egypt. Catachumens were generally, 
though not always, persons in a state of minority, and 
in the list we find princes themselves. When a more 
expeditious way of making Christians was discovered, 
the catechumen state fell into disuse, and as some sa- 
gacious priests found out that children came into the 
world crying for baptism, god-fathers and god-moth- 
ers were provided for them, who assumed the respon- 
sibility of their faithfulness and promised what was 
seldom performed. 

It is not difficult to suppose that, some among the 
catechumens would be more forward than the rest, and 
of course sooner ready for baptism. A French Catho- 
lic writer observes that he saw a child of seven years 
of age, who could read and explain the Greek Testa- 
ment with facility, and heard of two other infants, 

( 33) 

firotber and sister, the one nine the other eleyen or 
twelve years of age, able to speak Greek and Latin 
perfectly well." A monumental inscription in Italy, 
informs the reader, that a little girl six months old did 
most sweetly and freely pronounce the name of Jesui 
every day, and devoutly adore the images of ths 
Saints. Such superstition, of which there are 
many instances, had no doubt some influence ^ia 
handing baptism down from minors to babes, while 
other and more powerful mo-tives hastened the prog- 
ress of this rite. 

But let us listen to TertuUian; " the condescension 
of God may confer favors as he pleases ; but our wish- 
es may mislead ourselves and others. It is therefore 
most expedient to defer baptism and to regulate the 
administration of it according to the condition, the 
disposition, and the age of the person to be baptised, 
and especially in the case of little ones.* What ne- 
cessity is there to expose sponsers to danger? Indeed 
the Lord saith forbid them not to come unto me; and 
let them come while they are growing up, let them 
come and learn, and let them be instructed when 
they come, and when they understand Christianity 
let them profess themselves Christians." Is it not 
evident that infant baptism had not then obtained, 
and does not the very existence of the Catechumen 
state disprove the practice of infant baptism ? 

* The original word is parvulos, which was then used 
for minora who might be of any age under twenty-one. 


Hear also the testimony of two Pedo baptists 
Upon the subject. A learned divine of Geneva and a 
professor in the university of Amsterdam in the se- 
venteenth century says, " Pedo baptism was unknown 
in the two firstages after Christ, in the third and fourth 
it was approved by a few ; at length in the filth and fol- 
lowing it began to obtain m divers places ; and there- 
fore this rite is indeed observed by us as an ancient 
custom but not as an Apostolic tradition." The 
other. Bishop Taylor calls infant baptism ** a pretend- 
ed Apostolical tradition," but further says " that the 
tradition cannot be proved to be Apostolical, we have 
very good evidence from antiquity." 

About the middle of the third century, that is about 
40 years after the account of Tertullian, the people of 
Africa had succeeded in getting baptism administer- 
ed to babes. Fidus, a country bishop, wrote to Cy- 
prian of Carthage to know whether children might be 
baptised before they were eight days old, as he could 
not ascertain by his bible ; nor could Cyprian tell 
without consulting a council. A council of between 
sixty and seventy bishops met, and the question was 
brought before them. Fidus reasoned from circum- 
cision and therefore thought that they should be bap- 
tised at eight days old. " No" replied the council, 
"God denies grace to none ; Jesus came not to des- 
troy men's lives but to save them, and we ought to 
do all we can to save our fellow creatures. Besides 
God would be a respecter of persons if he denied tc 
infants what he grants to adults. Did not the prophet 

( 33 ) 

Eiisha lie upon a child, and put his mouth upon hiB 
mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hande 
upon his hands ? Now, the spiritual sense of this is, 
that infants are equal to men ; but if you refuse to 
baptise them you destroy this equality and are par- 
tial." Some other questions were agitated that might 
do for African bishops, but not so well for modern 

But little more is heard of infant baptism until the 
fifth century, when in the year 416 a council was 
held, of which St. Austin was principal director, and 
it was decreed, " that whosoever denieth that infants 
newly born of their mothers are to be baptised let 
him be accursed." We will hear of another Saint of 
this name when we come to the history of the En- 
glish and Welsh Baptists. 

We have now seen that infant baptism began in 
Africa, and not in Jadea, and was there determined 
by an awful anathema in the fifth century. The first 
ecclesiastical canon in Europe, for it was framed at 
Girona in Spain, in the sixth century, and the first im- 
perial edict for its establishment was by Charlemagne 
in the eighth. The council at Girona, though con- 
sisting of but seven bishops legislated with effect, 
because parents were concerned for their children's 
salvation. One of the ten rules of discipline framed 
by them was, " that in case infants were ill and 
would not take their mothers' milk, if they were offer- 
ed, they must be baptised even though it were the 
day they were borr." The law of Charlemagne was 


nearly 300 years after, when the custom had become 
generally prevalent, and the emperor for political 
purposes obliged the Saxons, on pain of death to be 
baptised themselves, and laid heavy fines on those 
who should neglect to have their children baptised 
within the year of their birth. Of course, the cause 
of infant baptism would now succeed, when fire and 
sword would end the dispute. Here too we see the 
germ of that persecution, which the Baptists have 
all along suffered to a greater or less extent. 

Other causes besides ecclesiastical and imperial de- 
crees united to hasten the progress of Pedo baptism. 
The words of Christ to Nicodemus were misunder- 
stood and misapplied, and an undue reliance was 
placed upon the rite. It could wash away original 
sin, and place a person in a state of certain salvation ; 
and more than this, whoever died without it were'assu- 
redly lost. Of course it required some time to bring 
these errors into general belief, and while the process 
was going on, another error was introduced, which 
produced an inconvenient collision. It was thought 
that sin after baptism would destroy its salutary ef- 
fects, and this principle led many to defer their bap- 
tism as long as possible. Its duration was short, as 
the more pleasant belief that the water of baptism 
was the laver of regeneration obtained the ascenden. 
cy, and parents were careful to have their children 
washed in it, and willing to leave their relapsing or 
rather continuing in sin as another affair. 

Thus we have seen the exalted eminence that bap- 

( 37) 

tism obtained, and to whom and what it was owing* 
The law was employed, and the benevolence of priesta 
and parents and nurses was taxed, to prevent man, wo- 
man or child from going out of the world without this 
Heavenly passport. The following passage may be 
found in Robinson's History of Baptism, under the 
article Aspersion, where the authorities are quoted. 

"The absolute necessity of dipping in order to a 
valid baptism ; and the indispensable necessity of 
baptism in order to salvation, were two doctrinesj 
which clashed, and the collision kindled up a sort of 
war between parents and priests. The doctrine was 
cruel and the feelings of humanity revolted against it. 
Power may give law ; but it is more than power can 
do to make unnatural laws sit easy in the minds of 

" The clergy felt the inconvenience of this state of 
things, for they were obliged to attend at a moment's 
warning, night or day, without the power of demand- 
ing a fee, and if they neglected Uieir duty were se- 
rerely punished. A great number of expedients were 
tried to remedy this evil. At first infants were bap- 
tised with Catechumens in public at two specified 
times in the year ; when it was observed that some 
died before the season came, priests were empowered 
to baptise at any time and place in case of sickness. 
When it was remarked that a priest was not always 
at hand, new canons empowered him to depute other* 
to perform the ceremony, and midwivea were licens- 
ed. It happened sometimes while the midwife wat 

( M ) 

baptising a child not likely to live many minutes, the 
mother was neglected and died. To prevent such ac- 
cidents it was decreed that any body, a Jew or de- 
graded Priest, a scullion or felon might baptise. 
Sometimes a vessel large enough or a quantity of 
water sufficient to dip an infant, could not be procured 
on a sudden ; and while in the dead of the night and 
perhaps in a severe frost the assistants were running 
to borrow utensils or to procure water, the ill-fated in- 
fant expired. In vain were laws made expressly 
requiring every thing to be in readiness, the 
laws of nature defied human control, the evil was in- 
curable and the anguish intolerable. Some infants 
died the moment they were born, others before, both 
unbaptised and all for the comfort of the miserable 
mother doomed like fiends to descend instantly to a 
place of torment." 

" In the year 1751 a doctor of laws of Palermo, 
published at Milan, in the Italian tongue, a book of 
three hundred and twenty pages in quarto, dedicated 
to all the guardian angels to direct priests and phy- 
sicians how to secure the eternal salvation of infants 
by baptising them when they could not be born." 
This is a point in infant sprinkling where modesty 
compels us to retreat and retire ; as does that of the 
baptism of abortives. 

It may be well for some persons to read the ac- 
counts at which we have just hinted before they de- 
claim so much against our " unwarrantable stress 
upon baptism" or our " indecorous" manner of iisr 

( 39) 

Having traced the baptism of babes to its highest 
and lowest state, we only say that it hcis now in all 
protestant and in most Catholic churches assumed a 
more rational and becoming character. The baptism 
of believers we have seen to be an interesting thing, 
but that of new born babes an unanimating and in* 
significant affair. And finally, we do believe that 
infant baptism wilFin all protestant churches soon be 
banished, and a return to scriptural authority in sub- 
ject and mode be hailed with universal acclamation. 


as a disputed point becomes an interesting part of 
History. Beyond all doubt immersion was the mode 
in the time of John and the Apostles. A cloud of 
witnesses appear in proof of this assertion, and their 
testimony we think places this matter in a light so 
conclusive that no candid person will gainsay or re- 
sist it. 

The baptism of John was performed in Jordan and 
Enon. The selection of these places must have been 
made with some express reason, or in plain terms 
** because there was much water there." As it has 
sometimes been asserted that Judea could not afford 
a sufficiency of water for immersion, a brief descrip- 
tion of the places named will be given. 

Jordan is a river which rises from the lake Phiia, 
and after rnnning fifteen miles under ground breaki 


out at Peneum. A little below Dan, the stream 
forms the lake Samachonites which is about four 
miles over and seven long. After leaving this lake 
it runs fifteen miles further and forms the lake or sea 
of Tiberias, thence at its opposite end it proceeds 
forward again, and after a course of sixty-five miles 
falls into the Dead Sea. Morse and Parish in their 
Gazetteer say, it is generally four or five rods wide 
and nine feet deep. Robinson says that so far from 
wanting water it was subject to two sorts of floods, 
one periodical at harvest time, the other such as all 
streams in uneven countries are subject to. To one 
Jeremiah alludes when he says, *' Behold the King 
of Babylon shall come up like a lion from the swel- 
ling of Jordan." Here John stationed himself not 
for the purpose of supplying the camels &c. with drink 
as some say, but for the convenience of immersing 
the repenting Jews. 

Enon is not so easily described as Jordan, for histo- 
rians and geographers are not agreed respecting it. It 
was at least 50 miles North of Jordan. Some suppose 
it was a deep spring called the dove spring or dove^s 
eye ; others think it signified the fountain of the sun ; 
while others are of opinion that it was either a natu- 
ral spring, an artificial reservoir, or a cavernous tem- 
ple of the sun prepared by the ancient Canaanites. 
But one thing is certain, it was a place where there 
was much water, and this was suflicient for John and 
every other baptist. The Greek for much water is 
polla udata, and these little words have furnished mat- 

( 41 ) 

t€r for much learned criticism and many futile quib- 
bles. *' Since sprinkling came in fashion" says Ro- 
binson, '' criticism unheard of in former ages hath en- 
deavoured to derive evidence for scarcity of water 
from the Greek text of John, and to render polla 
udata, not much water but many waters, and then by 
an ingenious supposition to infer that many waters 
signify not many collected into one, but parted into 
many little rills which might all serve for sprinkling, 
but could not any one of them be used for dipping: 
as if a man would want many brooks for the purpose 
of sprinkling. It is observable that the rivers Eu- 
phrates, Tiber, and Jordan, are all described by pol- 
la udata. How it comes to pass that a mode of speak- 
ing which on every other occasion signifies much, 
should in the case of baptism signify little is a ques- 
tion easy to answer." 

In John's baptism the evidence of immersion ap- 
pears conclusive, yet hear what a Pedo-baptist, Dr. 
Guyse has said ; " It seems to me that the people 
stood in ranks near to or just within the edge of the 
river ; and John passing along before them threw 
water upon their beads or faces with his hands or some 
proper instrument." We suspect this good man will 
find few to agree with him even in theory and much 
fewer in practice. 

Baptism as administered by the Apostles unques- 
tionably agreed with that of John, nor does a single 
narrative concerning it militate against the idea of 
immersion. From writers of unquestionable au- 


thority, it is evident that tbe primitive Christians 
continued to baptise in rivers, pools and baths, until 
aboHt the middle of the third century. Justin Mar- 
tyr and Tertullian represent the candidates as going 
to a place where there was water, and it was indiffer- 
ent whether it were a sea, river, lake, pool, or bath. 

Mosheim says, baptism was administered in the 
first century without the public assemblies in places 
appointed and prepared for that purpose, and was per- 
formed by immersion of the whole body in the bap- 
tismal fount. 

Sprinkling for baptism was introduced in Africa in 
the third century, when baptism began to be con- 
sidered essential to salvation. Many were taken sick 
before they had been baptised, and fearing destruc- 
tion if they died without it, did the best they could 
and were sprinkled as they lay upon their beds. This 
however, was reputed a very imperfect baptism. 

Pope Stephen III. in the eighth century allowed 
pouring in the case of infants in danger of death. 
The question was proposed to him, whether in case 
of necessity it were lawful to baptise by pouring 
water out of the hand or a cup on the infant, to which 
he answered, that if such a baptism were performed 
in such a case of necessity in the name of the Holy 
Trinity, it should be held valid. Here is the origin 
of private baptism, and of sprinkling or pouring. It 
did not however extend further than to cases of ne- 
cessity, and did not alter the mode of dipping in pub- 
lic baptisms. It was not until five hundred fifty years 

( 43) 

after, that the Legislature in a council at Ravenna 
in the year 1311, declared dipping or sprinkling in- 

We will again let a Pedo baptist speak who will 
certainly give no testimony in our favor but that 
which truth and candor require. In his elaborate 
History of Infant baptism Dr. Wall* says, "Calvin 
was, I think, the first in the world that drew up a 
liturgy that prescribed pouring water on the infant 
absolutely without saying any thing of dipping. It 
was his admirers in England, who in Queen Eliza- 
beth's time brought pouring into ordinary use, which 
before was used only to weak children. But the suc- 
ceeding Presbyterians in England about 1644, when 
their reign began went farther yet from the ancient 
way J and instead of pouring brought into use in 
many places sprinkling ; declaring at the same time 
against all use of fonts, baptisteries, &c. The way 
that is now ordinarily used, we cannot deny to 
have been a novelty brought into this church (of 
England) by those that had learnt it in Germany or 
Geneva. And they were not contented with follow- 
ing the example of pouring a quantity of water, which 
had there been introduced instead of immersion, but 
improved it, (if I may so abuse that word,) from pour- 
ing to sprinkling, that it might have as little resem- 
blance of the ancient way of baptising as possible." 

♦ The History was written in 1705, and a Defence in le^ 
ply to Dr. John Gale in 1720, 

( 44) 

About the middle of the third century baptisteries 
began to be erected, which at first were simple, but 
in the end arose to a high degree of elegant supersti- 
tion. Several are described by Robinson in his his- 
tory of baptism with considerable precision, but we 
deem it unnecessary to transcribe his descriptions. 

The Greeks have always continued immersion. 
Mush as they have been divided in speculative opin- 
ions, and numerous as dissenters from the established 
church have been, there is not a word in all their his- 
tory in favor of sprinkling. Because they were Greeks 
they unanimously thought that to baptise was to bap- 
tise, that is to dip is to dip. Dr. Staughton in his 
account of the India mission says he was once in the 
company of a gentleman whose native language was 
the Greek. Upon being asked the meaning of the 
word baptizo, he said it meant baptizo, but being in- 
terrogated more particularly, he signified that it meant 

From the little sketch of the history of baptism here 
presented to the reader, it will be easily perceived 
that it is a curious and complicated subject. It has 
been made so by the additions and subtractions of 
men who have forsaken the ground of scripture, and 
laid other foundations for their practice. The study 
of infant sprinkling is especially perplexing as many 
know by experience, whilst in believers baptism 
every thing is plain. 

( 46) 


This chapter will be devoted to a glance at the 
baptists in several of the countries of Europe, begin- 
ning with 


We are assured by Mosheim that baptist principles 
existed in Germany long before the Reformation. 
They were maintained by the Waldenses, Petrobrus- 
sians, and other distinguished sects. 

In this chapter the baptists are to be considered 
under three different names, Anabaptists,* Mennon- 
ites and Dutch baptists. The first was conferred by 
way of reproach, the second was derived from the 
celebrated Menno Simon, and the last from the com- 
mon nature of the people of Holland, where many of 
the Mennonites settled. 

♦This name signifies one who re-baptises, and was gi- 
ren according to Robinson by a Swiss pedant who wished 
the world to know that he understood Greek. 

( 46 ) 

We have seen upon the authority ef Mosheim, that 
there were many Christians concealed in almost all 
the countries of Europe, before the rise of Luther and 
Calvin. These we have reason to believe were most- 
ly baptists, and from the concessions of Mosheim and 
other testimony, were the remains of the ancient 
Waldenses. The spirits of these dispersed and per- 
secuted people were revived when the spirit of the 
Reformation was aroused. They started up sudden- 
ly under different headers in Germany, Switzerland, 
and the Netherlands, with the hope that the primi- 
tive purity and simplicity of the church would be re- 
stored. They looked to Luther for the accomplish- 
ment of great things, and commenced their labors of 
reform in an open and zealous manner, so thatsucess 
attended their efforts and very many adopted their 
views. They soon, however became dissatisfied with 
the plan of the Saxon reformer. It was beneath the 
sublimity of their conceptions of reform, and they 
therefore undertook to carry it forward to perfection. 
Luther, they seemed to think merely repaired the old 
house, they believed it should be taken down, the 
rotten timbers left out, and the building be construct- 
ed after the modwl of primitive times. They con- 
tended that the church should not, like Luther's, 
be composed of all within certain geographical limits, 
but made up of professed believers only. They were 
also dissatisfied with the retention of the Popish cus- 
tom of admitting infants to baptism, and hoped, though 
vainly, for a reformation in the matter. It is asserted 

( 4^ ) 

cn good authority that " infant baptism was agitated 
among the reformers themselves, and that some of 
them were for rejecting it." 

A historian of those times says, " that the business 
of Anabaptism began at Wittemberg in 1522." Ca- 
rolostadt was often charged, even by his own party 
with favoring the Anabaptists. Zuinglius, who flour- 
ished about the year 1520 was, according to his own 
confession, for a time inclined to reject infant bap- 
tism, but like many others finally gained a victory 
over his scruples and became a persecutor of the 
Anabaptists. Luther himself, appears from Robin- 
son's Researches to have suggested some baptistical 
opinions in a conference with some of the Vaudois, 
who practised infant baptism. He contended then, 
that faith and baptism ought always to be connected 
together. The mode of baptism he has defined to be 
dipping, and the etymology of the word (baptizo,) he 
aaid, seemed to require that the person should be 
wholly immersed and immediately taken out. He has 
indeed, been taxed by Catholics with being the father 
of the German dippers. 

No accounts are furnished by which the number 
who embraced Baptist sentiments in those times can 
be ascertained. Mosheim makes them a prodigious 
multitude, but considered them a miserable rabble. 
The number of real Baptists was no doubt great, but 
of those who were falsely so called much greater. 
The papists formerly called all heretics Waldenses, 
ap'^ ^t this time the protestants classed all who op 

( 48 ) 

posed infant baptism, or sighed for liberty, under the 
denomination of Anabaptists, and the sword of perse- 
cution was unsheathed against all who- bore that 

It is a painful fact that the popish doctrine that 
heretics ought to die, was transferred to the protestant 
creed. " It is true that many Anabaptists suffered 
death merely because they were judged incurable 
heretics, for then the errors of limiting baptism to 
adult persons, and re-baptising such as had received 
it in infancy were looked upon as flagitious and intol- 
erable heresies." For a time, the Baptists enjoyed 
the liberty of defending their sentiments, and public 
disputes were held in different places from 1525 to 
1532, but this liberty was not long allowed. The 
cause of infant baptism suffered so much from this 
kind of examination, and Anabaptism prevailed so ex- 
tensively, that penal statutes were enacted requiring 
all persons to have their children baptised, and for- 
bidding re-baptisation under the penalty of fines, im- 
prisonment, or banishment, and even death itself. 

An eminent man. Dr. Hubmeierus, who engaged in 
a public dispute with Zuinglius in 1525, and whose 
character is highly extolled by Meshovius a Catholic, 
as a learned and eloquent man, was burnt and his wife 
drowned at Vienna, in 1528. In the year 1526 or 
1527, Felix Mantz or Mentz, who was of a noble 
family and a very learned man, was drowned at Zurich. 
In 1528 two were beheaded at Schwas and one at 
Augsburg, for opposing infant baptism. At Saltzburg 


eighteen persons, and at Waltzen twenty. five, vreri? 
burnt in ihe same year. In 1529, three hundred and 
seventy suffered death. The men were generally 
beheaded and the women drowned. In Switzerland 
about the same time, the Anabaptists were very hard- 
ly treated, and several suffered martyrdom. 

As the fires of persecution thus raged, it is not sur^ 
prising that many who never had entered fully and 
from principle into the ranks of the baptists, would 
desert them. Such was the case, but on the other 
hand, some were constrained to become members of 
their communion. Among these was the celebrated 
Menno Simon, who was born in Friesland in 1505, or- 
dained a Popish priest, and continued such until 
1531, when he began to suspect the validity of many 
Romish doctrines, and among the rest of infant bap- 
tism. He first made his suspicions known to other 
priests, and afterwards to Luther, but not obtaining 
satisfaction from either he engaged in the study of the 
New Testament and Ecclesiastical History, and 
brought up as is the general result in such cases, 
upon baptist ground. In 1536 he puf'tcly embraced 
the sentiments of the Anabaptists, and in about a 
year commenced his ministry among them. From 
this period to his death, (about 25 years,) he travelled 
extensively, and preached so successfully, that multi- 
tudes adopted his views. He was a man of genius 
and considerable learning, who would have carried 
the reformation farther than Luther or Calvin did, 
and would have been ranked with the chief reform- 



era, ^* had there not been some cross-grained fatalit;/ 
attending the laudable deeds of the baptists." 

Meano v^e claim to be a baptist, although those now 
called Mennonists are not strictly such. They have 
adopted pouring instead of immersion, though it is 
certain that they and the Anabaptists of Germany 
practised dipping. To proportion punishment to 
crime, many of them were drowned. Menno himself 
taught immersion exclusively, for says he, " after we 
have searched ever so diligently we shall find no other 
baptism besides dipping in water, which is accepta- 
ble to God and maintained in his word. Let who 
v?ill oppose, this is the only mode of baptism that Je- 
sus Christ instituted, and the Apostles taught and 
practised." The precise time or reason of the change 
3f immersion to pouring cannot be told. Changes 
have taken place in all parties and subjected them to 
inortificatior ; instance the state of the Lutheran and 
Reformed churches of Germany, and that of Geneva. 

The Dutch baptists it is said, have published ex- 
tensive histories of themselves, but they have never 
been translated into English, and very little is known 
af them. Writers make frequent mention of a folio 
volume entitled the Martyrology of the foreign Ana- 
baptists, which is said to contain a numerous list of 
ancidnt baptist martyrs. 

As the history of the people under consider- 
ation, has been identified with the tumultuous scenes 
^A the sixteenth century, it seems proper here to give 
the reader a cursory view of the whole matter. Tbs 

( 51 ) 

Munster insurrection has been visited upon the bap» 
lists by all their enemies who have written their his- 
tory, as its Alpha and Omega. That revolt took place 
under these circumstances. The condition of the 
peasants of Germany was truly deplorable* They 
were under a galling yoke, from which in 1524 they 
meditated a disenthralment. The execrable feudal 
system was then in force, having been established in 
early ages, in the night of barbarism. Its grand prin- 
ciple, ihat all lands were derived from the crown, was 
productive of unjust and oppressive consequences, in- 
somuch that the wretched rustics had before them 
only the prospect of everlasting slavery. 

The fire of liberty inherent in the human breast 
began to burn, and efforts were made by the peasants 
to gain their freedom. Within their memory there 
had been insurrections against oppression, which en- 
couraged them to rise ; they expected also, aid from 
their Swiss neighbors ; and a third circumstance and 
one which operated strongly, was the lamentable con- 
dition of both Church and State. They were earning 
money by hard labour for unprincipled gentry to con- 
sume in luxury or war; and as to religious privileges 
they had none. Another encouragement was the ex- 
ample and principles of Luther; he had broken the 
chains of oppression and in 1520, published a tract on 
Christian liberty which was eagerly read, and made 
known to those who could not read. Its contents 
stimulated the people to assert their rights, and the 
cause of revolt was espoused by many who were nei- 

(52 ) 

ther madmen nor monsters. These rebels were not 
exclusively Anabaptists, Lutherans, nor Catholics but 
a mixture of all. 

In the svrnmer of 1524, the peasants of Suabia, on 
the estate of Count Lutfen, were the first to revolt, 
then those of a neighboring abbey. All agreed and 
declared that, not religion but secular oppression was 
the cause of their dissatisfaction. The news spread- 
ing over Germany, brought in the ensuing spring no 
less than three hundred thousand men into the fields of 
Suabia, Franconia,Thuringia&c.consistingofall those 
who considered themselves in any manner aggrieved. 

To the Baptist teachers as best acquainted with the 
principles of liberty, the eyes of the peasants were 
turned for counsel. One of the most eminent among 
them was Thomas Muncer, who had been a Romish 
priest, but afterwards a disciple and great favorite of 
Luther. His character and manner as a preacher 
won him the hearts of the rustics. The moment ho 
finished his discourses he retired from the crowd to 
retirement, a practice so singular, that the people 
would throng about the door, peep through the crevi- 
ces, and sometimes oblige him to let them enter. He 
was called Luther's curate, and Luther named him 
Absalom, probably because he stole away the hearts 
of the men of Israel. His enemies say that all this 
was artifice. It was not suspected however, until he 
became a baptist. They say he was all this time plot- 
ting the rustic war, but this is not likely. The truth 
is that, while Luther was enjoying ease with princesj 

( 53 ) 

Muncer was labouring among the people. No doubt 
he beheld and deplored their bondage, and saw that 
deliverance could not come from Luther's plans, es- 
pecially while he was courting the favor of princes 
and the gentry. 

Luther became his enemy, and advised the magis- 
trates to require Muncer to give an account of his 
call, and if he failed to prove that he acted under hu- 
man authority, to insist upon a miracle to sustain his 
call from God. The magistrates and monks fell into 
this snare, and set about the work, but the people re- 
sented it, especially as coming from a man who had 
been loaded with anathemas for the very crime of which 
he accused his brother, and carried the matter so far 
that they expelled the monks, then the magistrates, 
and elected new Senators, of whom Muncer was one. 
Though Muncer's doctrines all tended to liberty, 
he had no immediate concern in the first insurrec- 
tions, nor was it till many months after that he joined 
the insurgents; but knowing their cause to be just he 
drew up for them a manifesto, setting forth their 
grievances, which was presented to their lords and 
scattered all over Germany. This instrument has 
been highly applauded as a master piece of its kind, 
and as Voltaire has said, a Lycurgus would have 
signed it. It consists of twelve articles, of such a 
length as to preclude its insertion here. 

But the noble sentiments there expressed, are the 
infernal tenets and damnable Anabaptistical errors, 
which Pedo baptigts of all orders from Luther dowa 

( 54) 

have thought proper to execrate. This crime of the 
baptists has been for 300 years visited upon their 

It is most evident that the Rustic war was a patrio- 
tic attempt to throw off the yoke of tyranny, and had 
it been successful, ten thousand tongues would have 
celebrated its praise. Like all other struggles of the 
same kind, it may have been attended with unjustifi-^ 
able acts, and it is altogether unnecessary to attempt 
a vindication of every circumstance which either 
friends or enemies may choose to connect with it. 
That some called baptists, pursued unwarrantable 
measures may be true, but that as a body the Ana- 
baptists, (as some will have them termed), acted 
wickedly or improperly is not true. 

The particulars of the war we cannot give, sufice 
it to say, it lasted about eleven years, and cost Ger- 
many the lives of many thousand men. The number 
is computed by some at fifty thousand, by others at a 
hundred thousand, and these mostly Anabaptists. 
Truly they must have been literally a church mili- 
tant, for besides that number slain, many thousands 
were burnt, drowned and exiled. If as some have ig- 
norantly or wickedly said, the baptists began with the 
madmen of Munster, their origin is not only peculiar, 
but their success in making converts during the priva- 
tions of war perfectly astounding. 

It may be asked why has the blame of these tumults 
been cast upon the baptists? At other times and in 
©ther places they hare been engaged in similar scenes. 

( S5 ) 

for which they have been pardoned. Why were thet 
not charged with being the promoters of the civil 
wars of England, of the tumults of the commonwealth 
and the murder of the English monarch'? Why have 
not historisns dealt as plainly with them in the case 
of Germany, and proportioned the blame to each par- 
ty engaged ? The reply seems to be, that all parties 
are anxious to avoid the reproach of an unpopular and 
unsuccessful struggle. The Catholics blamed the 
Lutherans, and the Lutherans, though assured that 
some Catholics were interested in the enterprise, 
could not retort upon them as their doctrine of blind 
submission did not lead to it, and therefore endeavor^ 
ed to make the Anabaptists alone guilty. The first 
were unfair in charging the matter upon the Refor- 
mation, though not mistaken in connecting the Lu- 
therans with the war. The latter here conceded that 
some of their party misconstrued the Reformers' doc- 
trine, and joined the rebels, but the papists will per- 
sist in laying the whole evil at the door of Luther 
and his followers, saying " this is the fruit of the new 
doctrine — this the fruit of Luther^a gospel." It 
also appears that the disturbances in Munster were 
begun by Bernard Rothman a Lutheran minister, be 
fore the Anabaptist leaders visited the place. 

Such were the aspersions cast upan the Lutherans, 
but as the Anabaptists were the known advocates for 
liberty, and many did take part in a struggle which 
they hoped would secure freedom, to themselves and 
others, it was easy to cast the odium upon them* 


Having no one to tell their story or put in a plea that 
would be heard, the whole affair as related by the Lu- 
theran historians, has been handed down without cor- 
rection, and held up by thousands as a salutary me- 
mento for the seditious dippers. It has been made 
too the dernier resort of every deciaimer against 
them, and the great gun which is kept in reserve for 
the time of need. But why all this noise and slander, 
since every body knows that the quarrel was not 
abo^t baptism, but the feudal system, not for much or 
little water, but in opposition to oppressive regula- 

In closing these observations, we remark that the 
substance of the matter as represented by our oppo- 
sers is, that the Baptists had no existence until the 
raunster tragedy in the sixteenth century, and that 
then all at once in the storm of battle, they not only 
rose but increased so rapidly that they soon led a 
quarter of a million into the field to defend and pro- 
pagate their sentiments ! and that a hundred thousand 
of them were slain. Let those believe this who can. 
The sum and substance of the matter is, that the Bap- 
tists did not originate with those tumults, but with 
John the Baptist in Palestine fifteen hundred years 
before. It was in a time of tumult it is true, and 
they caused tumult afterwards in Jerusalem and many 
other places, and it may not be wonderful after all, 
that they are charged with tumult and even with 
turning the world upside down. 

(57 ) 


We can give no more than a recapitulation of the 
history of Baptists in this country. Authentic re- 
cords assure us that a people of a description answer- 
ing to Baptists, were driven from France in the 12th 
century and settled in Bohemia. In about the year 
1430, a church composed of Waldenses, Taboiites, 
and others, was formed at Litiz near Prague. They 
sent into Austria and there found an old Waldensian 
preacher, from whom their ministers received what 
they considered a true Apostolic ordination. They 
were called United Brethren, and are claimed by those 
of that name now existing, but let the relation exist 
or not, " it is certain this ancient church subsisted 
at the reformation, and afterwards left off baptising 
adults on their own profession of faith." " The Bap- 
tists," says Robinson, " ought always to honor this 
church ; it was a cradle in which many of their de- 
nomination were cherished, and all allow that the 
Anabaptists of Moravia proceeded from a schism in 

As before stated, people answering the description 
of Baptists settled in Bohemia ; these according to 
Bohemian Historians, were Picards or Waldenses. 
The account given of them is similar to their history 

( 58) 

in other countries. Waldo, their famous patron, fled 
from persecution into Bohemia, where he died in 
1179. The company just spoken of were no doubt 
emigrants with him. This was more than two hun- 
dred years before the rise of Huss aud Jerome of 
Prague, who though they were not Baptists taught 
many Anabaptistical errors, and were destroyed by 
the council of Constance in 1415. The preaching of 
these great men, carried out to its legitimate results 
made many Baptists, who continued to increase so 
much that when the disciples of Luther went into 
Bohemia and Moravia, they complained that between 
Baptists and Papists they were very much straitened. 
Of the number of churches they had, Benedict says he 
was unable to obtain any information. 

Like all others, these Baptists had to suffer perse- 
cution, but to get rid of them was very difficult. The 
Jesuit who effected their banishment says, " When I 
thought of proscribing the Anabaptists of Moravia I 
well knew that it was an arduous undertaking ; how- 
ever, by the help of God I surmounted many obsta- 
cles, and obtained an edict for their banishment, though 
it was against the consent of some princes and gover- 
nors, who had a worldly interest in supporting these 
profitable rascals." The Jesuits contrived to have 
the edict published just before the harvest and vintage 
came, and three weeks and three days were allowed 
for their departure. Beyond the expiration of that 
period it was death to be found even on the borders 
of the country. 

(59) _ ^ 

<' li was Autumn, the prospect and pride of hus' 
bandmen. Heaven had smiled upon their honest la- 
bors, their fields stood thick with corn and the sun 
and the dew were improving every movement to give 
them their last polish. The yellow ears waved an 
homage to their owners, and the wind whistling through 
the stems of the russet herbage softly said, put in the 
sickle, the harvest is come. Their luxuriant vine- 
leaves too hung aloft by the tendrils mantling over 
the clustering grapes, like watchful parents over their 
tender offspring : but all were fenced by an imperial 
edict, and it was instant death to approach. Without 
leaving one murmur on record, in solemn, silent 
submission to the power that governs the universe 
and causes all things to work together for good to his 
creatures, they plucked up and departed. In several 
hundred carriages they conveyed their sick, their in- 
nocent infants, and their decrepit parents whose work 
was done, and whose silvery locks told every behol- 
der that they wanted only the favor of a grave." 


But little is known of the Polish Baptists before 
the Reformation, but from several historical hints it 
is evident that the Waldenses entered Poland some 
time in the 12th century, and it has been shown that 
wherever they went they carried with them Baptist 

( 60 ) 

principles. Ttiig is corroborated by Catholic testi- 
mony. It is however a sorrowful truth, that the sen- 
tioients of many were such as Baptists cannot approve. 
Arianism and Socinianism greatly infested the coun- 

The Pinckzovians, so called from Pinckzow, the 
place where a society who professed to be seeking the 
truth finally centred, were a powerful sect. They 
were an assemblage of diflferent characters and senti- 
ments. Most were natives of Poland, but many had 
fled from other parts of Europe to escape persecution. 
They held more or less to the fundamental points of 
religion, but as all denied infant baptism, they were 
honored with the title of AnabapHsts. They were 
properly speaking Anti Pedo baptists, but not all Bap- 
tists. They met frequently in assemblies where prin- 
ciples were discussed and plans of proceeding agreed 
apon. They som.etimes met by themselves, and at 
others with other Protestants. In one of these synods 
held at Brest in Lithuania in 1568, two very able 
speeches were m.ade against infant baptism. The 
declarations made in them produced a great deal of 
reading, conversing, and disputing, and of course 
many converts to believers baptism. Having gone 
on successfully for some time, the confederation was 
finally broken up by persecution. Many left the 
kingdom, though most remained in a dispersed con- 
dition until they were again collected at Racow, 
whence they were called Racovians, under which 
iname they flourished considerably. Racow became 

( 61 ) 

quite a Baptist town, where the principal men laugh' 
and held synods. After the decease cf their patron, 
ills son James Sieninski, palatine of Podolia, having 
entertained some doubts of the Lutheran religion, de- 
sired a conferenc3 between them and the Baptists. 
After he heard the arguments of both sides he thought 
the truth was on the part of the latter, and following 
his convictions united with the church. This was a 
great accession of honor, wealth, and power, and 
though his munificence continued during his life, 
there is no instance with all their heresy of their em- 
ploying power to influence conscience. Many fa- 
mous characters resorted to them, who by their wealth 
or abilities contributed to their progress. A school 
was founded and thronged with pupils. The press 
with which they were furnished, was employed in 
printing the works of their learned men. 

Thus out of the Pinckzovians, originated a new 
set of churches of a more decided Baptist character, 
which were called by the different names of Arians, 
Anabaptists, Racovians, and finally Socinians. They 
were at first composed of baptized believers, but some 
of them soon adopted open communion, which no 
doubt tended to hasten their ruin, as their adoption 
of the principle is supposed to have been effected by 
the younger Socinus, who also led them farther into 
error. He was an Anti Pedo baptist, but not a Bap- 
tist. He rejected infant baptism but w'as never bap- 
tized, nor did he think baptism a necessary ordinance, 
or if it were to be administered at all, it was to those 

(62 ) 

Vv-ho were converted from other religions to the Chris' 

An unexpected event occurred in the midst of 
great prosperity which blasted all their flattering pros- 
pects. In the year 1633, some students at the Acad- 
emy, vented their aversion to popery by throwing 
stones at a wooden crucifix that stood out of town. 
A complaint was made, not against the real offender, 
but the religion professed by the tutors. The acad- 
emy and printing office were destroyed, the professors 
banished, and the places of worship closed. These 
things so affected the palatine, vrhom the Senate had 
often honored with the title of father of his country, 
that he survived but one year. 

For twenty years after this event, persecution was 
carried on against the Baptists in different parts of 
Poland. The Cossacks invaded the Kingdom, and 
the Baptists were plundered with the consent of all 
parties. Next they were harrassed by an army of 
Swedes. The Catholics were bent upon their des- 
truction, while the Lutherans and Calvinists, who 
might have prevented their sufferings, rather helped 
them forward. But they received their reward, for 
the kingdom was dismembered, and they enslaved by 
their more powerful neighbors, 


The principles of the Reformation were first in- 
troduced into this little State by a Lutheran minister, 

( 63) 

who was Chaplain to the prince of the country. He 
was succeeded in the Chaplaincy, by Francis Davidis, 
a Seventh day Baptist minister, who afterwards be- 
came Superintendant of the Baptist Churches in Tran- 
sylvania. When the Moravian Baptists were ban- 
ished, some of them went into this country, and it is 
therefore highly probable that they were scattered 
through it long before the time of which we have 

Both Baptist and Unitarian principles appear to 
have been carried into Transylvania from Poland. In 
1563, Blandratta, a celebrated physician, was invited 
into it by Sigismund, and was accompanied by Davi- 
dis. In short, a number came by invitation and still 
more through persecution elsewhere. The hands of 
the Baptists were strengthened, and in the end they 
became the most numerous party, and had various 
honors conferred upon them. 

A synod was held shortly after this time, at which 
three hundred and twenty-two Unitarian ministers 
were present, who unanimously agreed to renounce 
infant sprinkling, and published thirty-two theses 
against it. From this time Baptist principles pre- 
vailed, and many churches were formed. Their prog- 
ress cannot be described minutely, but we are in- 
formed that in process of time they adopted open 
communion, and tolerated infant sprinkling. They 
were connected with the great by whom they were 
ensnared. During this time it is probable, there 
-vere in obscure places many genuine Baptists, who 


chose to keep away from the splendor of the great, 
and so avoided their speculations and snares. The 
churches being protected by law, enjoyed external 


Respecting our brethren in this country we pos- 
sess more authentic records, furnished not by ene- 
mies but by the Baptists themselves. They afford 
explicit accounts of their character, progress, and 
sufferings, for the space of three hundred years, and 
also many hints respecting the brethren at an early 
period. The history of the English Baptists would 
furnish sufficient matter of a deeply interesting char- 
acter for several volumes. A very brief sketch must 
be presented in this work. 

The Baptists of England have been, since soon 
after the Reformation divided into General and Par- 
ticular, in consequence of some difference in points 
of doctrine. This division it is deemed unnecessary 
to regard particularly in this sketch, as both parties 
have endured many sufferings and produced a number 
of distinguished and worthy characters. 

Christianity was planted in Britain about sixty 
years after the ascension of Christ, and a number of 
all ranks were its adherents. The gospel flourished 
considerably in early times, and its friends also en- 
dured much persecution from Pagans. Various chan- 

( 65 ) 

ges were experienced until about the year 600, when 
Austin, the monk and famous persecutor, with about 
forty others, were sent by Gregory the great to con- 
vert the remaining pagans, and subject the Christians 
to the dominion of Rome. The enterprise succeeded. 
King Ethelbert with his court and a greai portion of 
the people were won over. Ten thousand converts 
were baptized in the river Swall in one day. 

It is contended that the first British Christians were 
Baptists, and maintained universally their principles 
until the coming of Austin. From this time the 
church was divided into old and nev^^ — the old, or 
Baptist Church, adhering to their original principles 
— the new adopting infant baptism and other popish 
ceremonies. The reason assigned for this belief is 
satisfactory. Austin did urge upon those who opposed 
his mission to baptize their children, which was re- 
fused especially by many in Wales and Cornwall. 
Tne inference is that infants were not baptized before 
by them, and as no account is given of any variance 
on the subject previously, it is fairly presumed that 
infant baptism was unknown. 

Popery was the established religion for nearly one 
thousand years. During the reign of William the Con- 
queror which commenced in 1066, the Waldenses 
entered and began to abound in England, so that by 
the year lOSO not only the common people, but the 
nobility and gentry embraced their doctrines, and of 
course adopted Baptist views, for at this period none 
of the Waldenses had fallen off to infant baptism. 

( 69) 

For more than one hundred years, during the reigns 
of five kings they increased and were not molested, 
but in the reign of Henry III. about 1218, some 
popish friars were sent to suppress their heresies, and 
many doubtless suffered by their means. 

In the time of Edward II. A. D. 1315, Walter Lol- 
lard a German preacher among the Waldenses, and 
a friend to believers' baptism, came to England and 
preached with great effect. His followers were calkd 
Lollards, and rejected infant baptism. In the reign 
of Edward HI. John Wickliff, the "morning star of 
the Reformation,'' became famous, and brought mul- 
titudes to embrace his doctrine, and to enter into his 
views of reformation. There is no doubt that Wick- 
liff taught Anabaptistical errors, and the evidence is 
strong that he became a Baptist. 

Dr. Hurd in his history of all Religions says, " It 
is pretty clear from the writings of many learned men, 
that Dr. John Wickliff, the first English reformer 
either considered infant baptism unlawful or at best 
unnecessary." Another says, " it is clear from 
many authors that Wickliff rejected infant baptism, 
and that on this doctrine his followers agreed with the 
modern Baptists." "Thomas Walden, and Joseph 
V, Vicecomes, who had access to his writings, charge 
him with denying pedo-baptism. The former calls 
him one of the seven heads that came out of the bot- 
tomless pit, for denying infant baptism, that heresy of 
the Lollards, of whom he was a great ringleader." 
In the year 1400, Henry IV. ordered heretics to be 

( 67 ) 

burned, and the first who suffered was William Saw- 
tre, a Lollard. As permission was now given to 
bloody men to destroy in a legal manner, the sufferings 
of the dissenters were very great. In about three 
years one hundred and twenty Lollards were commit- 
ted to prison, some of whom were burnt alive. In 
1535, twenty-two Baptists were put to death, and in 
1539 thirty-one were banished, and going to Holland 
were beheaded or drowned. Nearly at the same time, 
seven were burned. From a speech of Henry VHI. 
in 1545 it appears that many of his subjects went 
under the name of Anabaptists; and Bishop Latimer 
in a sermon before his successor, Edward VL mentions 
one town in England containing more than five hun- 
dred of these heretics. 

A great change took place when Henry VIH. re- 
nounced the authority of the Pope and became Head 
of the Church; the fetters of popery were broken, 
and the scriptures in the English language sanctioned. 
Soon the Puritans arose and pushed the reformation 
somewhat farther. But persecuting laws still exist- 
ed, and the ruling party seemed to have no objections 
to enforcing them, and though protestantism was es- 
tablished, the Baptists soon found that their ruin was 
still intended. In 1549, a sort of Inquisition was 
erected with the Archbishop of Canterbury at the 
head, who were instructed to examine and search 
after all Anabaptists, heretics &c. Two persons, it 
is certain out of many who were apprehended, were 
burnt. One was Joan Boucher, or Joan of Kent, a 

( G3 ) 

T^oman of distinction who was compelled b}' her Bible 
^^nd conscience to become a Baplist. Great exertions 
were made to save her but in vain. The famous John 
Rogers said to one (supposed to be Fox — author of 
the Book of Martyrs,) who entreated for her life, that 
burning alive was no cruel death but easy enough, to 
which Fox replied, " Well perhaps it may so happen 
that you yourselves shall have your hands full of this 
mild burning." It did so happen, and Rogers was 
the first who w^as burned under the reign of Queen 

Without dwelling upon the circumstances of the 
Baptists during this period of suffering, it may be 
sufficient to say that, they were every where through- 
out the kingdom persecuted and distressed. In 1612 
Edward Wightman was burnt at Litchfield. Ke was 
the last who sufTered death by a direct course of law. 
It appears therefore, that upon the Baptists has been 
conferred the honor of leading the van and bringing 
up the rear of the noble army of English Martyrs. 

We come now to notice the formation and progress 
of Baptist Churches as such. Ivimey, in his History, 
produces a passage from the writings of Dr. Some, 
which state'sthat as early as 1589, *' there were several 
Anabaptist conventicles in London and other places. 
Some persons of these sentiments have been bred atour 
Universities." These are supposed to have been 
General Baptist Churches, as they founded several 
before the Particular Baptists had any. 

Crosby, who wrote a History of the English Bap- 

( 69 ) 

tists, gives this account of the establishment of (Par- 
ticular) Baptist Churches : " In the year 1633 the 
Baptists who had hitherto been intermixed with other 
Protestant dissenters began to separate themselves 
and form distinct societies of their own." Concern- 
ing the first of these, he says upon the authority of 
William Kiffin ; there was a congregation of the In- 
dependent persuasion in London gathered in 1616. 
In this society there were several who were convinced 
that baptism should not be administered to infants, 
and desired to be dismissed to form a distinct congre- 
gation. This permission was granted, and the church 
constituted Sept. 12, 1633. As they looked upon the 
baptism they had received as invalid, most or all of 
them were baptized upon a profession of their faith. 
Their minister was John Spilsburg. In the year 1638 
William Kiffin, Thomas Wilson, and others, were 
dismissed to this church. In 1639 another congre- 
gation was formed. 

As our brethren in this country were constantly 
reproached from both pulpit and press, they put forth 
a confession of their faith for the purpose of self vin- 
dication. It was published about ten years after the 
first churches were founded, and signed in the name 
of seven congregations in London. It was put into 
the hands of many members of Parliament, and some 
of their greatest adversaries were constrained to ac- 
knowledge its excellence, excepting only the articles 
on infant baptism. 

In 1646, the churches had increased to fortv-six in 

( ^0) 

and about London. The Anabaptists, said Robert 
Bailie in this year, in a work entitled, " Anabaptism 
the true fountain of error," have lifted up their heads 
and increased their number above all the sects in the 

In 1689, under the government of William, Prince 
of Orange, when the Toleration Act was passed, we 
find delegates from upwards of one hundred churches 
in England and Wales, met in London. These were 
not however all in the Kingdom at that time ; to them 
must be added a large number of Genered Baptist 
Churches, and some who for particular reasons did 
not unite in this great association. 

From a list of the churches made out about the year 
1768, their number then was 217. Dr. R-ippin pub- 
lished a list in 1790 which makes the number three 
hundred and twelve, and eight years after another, 
giving three hundred and sixty-one. In 1832 the 
number of churches was nine hundred and twenty- I 
six. From the Report of the English Baptist Union ' 
which met in June 1885, we learn that there were 
then in England and Wales, eight hundred and two 
associated and five hundred unassociated churches. 
Their affairs seem prosperous, and their charities are 
truly extensive. The report just referred to, presents 
the brethren in the pleasing attitude of sustaining 
their Literary and Religious institutions at an ex- 
pense of nearly two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. 

The association of General Baptists which met in 
1834, comprised one hundred and thirteen churches. 

(71 ) 

and eleven thousand seven hundred and sixty-lhree 
members. Arrangements were made for the estab- 
lishment of a minister's fund, a register of their trust 
deeds, the management of the General Baptist Re- 
pository, and for the republication of the select 
works of Rev. Dan. Taylor. They reported favorably 
of the state of the Academy at Wisebeach, approved 
of the objects and principles of the Temperance So- 
ciety, and resolved to correspond with the Conference 
of their brethren in America* 

We will now present some short accounts of the 
sufferings of our Baptist brethren in England since 
the time their first Churches were founded. Under 
the government of the bigoted Archbishop Laud they 
particularly, with dissenters in general, experienced 
a scene of continual vexation. About 163S many 
ministers were imprisoned ; one Baptist by the name 
of Brewer for fourteen years. Subsequently their 
meetings were frequently disturbed and broken up, 
and many ministers fined and imprisoned. 

Slanderous publications appeared against them ; 
one by the famous Richard Baxter, whose name is 
entitled to high respect, and who was afterwards him- 
self violently persecuted, contained the most aston- 
ishing accusations against the dangerous and indeco- 
rous dippers. " My sixth argument," said he, " shall 
be against their manner of baptizing, that is by dip- 
ping over head. The ordinary practice (of dipping,) 
and in cold water, as necessary, is a plain breach of 
the sixth commandment, therefore it is no ordinance 


of GoJ, but a heinous sin. iVnd as Mr. Cradock 
shows in his book of gospel liberty, the magistrate 
ought to restrain it to save the lives of his sub- 
jects. Apoplexies, lethargies, palsies, and all other 
comatous diseases would be promoted by it. So 
would cephalalgies, hemicranies, phthises, debility of 
the stomach, crudities, and almost all fevers, dysen- 
teries, diarrha3as, cholics, iliac passions, convulsions, 
vspasms, tremors and so on. Jn a word, it is good for 
nothing, but to despatch nnen out of the world that are 
burdensome, and to ranken church-yards, {f those 
who would make it men's religion to murder them- 
selves, and urge' it upon their consciences as a duty, 
are not to be suffered in a Commonwealt.h, then judge 
how these Anabaptists are to be suffered. Ifthe min- 
ister must go into the water with the parly, it will 
certainly tend to his death, though they may escape 
that go in but once,"* &c. &c. 

" Poor man," says Mr. Booth, " he sees to be af- 
flicted with a violent hydrophobia. For he cannot 
think of any person being immersed in cold water, 
but he starts, he is convulsed, he is ready to die with 
fear. Immersion, you must know, is like Pandora's 
box, and pregnant with a great part of those diseases 

* An argument similar to this was used by Mr. Mc- 
Calla, in his debate with Mr. Campbell on baptism. Mr. 
C. pointed to the bench of Moderators ; one of the three 
was a Baptist, and another a Pedo baptist minister. The 
first had baptized several hundreds, but weighed nearly 
three hundred pounds, while the latter who perhaps had 
«ever immersed any, was a perfect contrast. 

( 73) 

which Milton'g Angel presented to the view of our 
first father. A compassionate regard therefore, to 
the lives of his fellow creatures, compels Mr. B. to 
solicit the aid of magistrates against this destructive 
plunging, and to cry out in the spirit of an exclama- 
tion once heard in the Jewish temple, Ye men of 
Israel help ! or Baptist ministers will depopulate your 
country. What a pity it is that, the celebrated his- 
tory of cold bathing by Sir John Floyer, was not pub- 
lished half a century sooner. It might perhaps, have 
preserved this good man from a multitude of painful 
paroxysms occasioned by the thought of immersion in 
cold water." 

In 1646 Samuel Oates, by whom many hundreds 
were baptized, was really indicted for the murder of 
Anne Martin, who died some weeks after her baptism; 
but though great exertions were made against him, 
the jury pronounced him not guilty. He was after- 
wards, dragged out of a house and thrown into a ri- 
ver, his persecutors boasting that they had thoroughly 
dipped him. 

After the protectorate of Cromwell when the Bap- 
tists enjoyed a respite from trouble, Charles II. was 
restored to the throne in 1660. His promises were 
fair, but like those of many other kings, not sacredly 
observed. The first who suffered under his reign was 
the celebrated John Bunyan, author of the Pilgrim's 
Progress, 6ic. a popular Baptist preacher, though he 
followed his business as tinker. He was retained in 
prison at Bedford twelve years ; seven of which he 



was kept so close that he could not look out of the 

In 1670, a congregation of Baptists to the amount 
of five hundred, met for worship near Lewes, in Sus- 
sex. They were observed, information was lodged 
against them, and the minister and above forty hear- 
ers were convicted. The minister was fined £20, and 
the rest of the company five shillings each. 

At the same time, a meeting was held in Bright- 
helmston, at the house of William Beard, who was 
fined £20. At Chillington, Nicholas Martin was con- 
victed of having a meeting at his house, and fined 
to the same amount. In all these cases, property to 
the amount of double or treble that of the fine was 

At Dover, the Magistrates showed their zeal against 
the Baptists, committing to prison many who had been 
violently taken from their meeting-house. These 
hardships induced them to petition, but no relief was 
afforded. By virtue of a dormant statute of the reign 
of Elizabeth, Mr. Stephen Dagnal of Aylesbury, and 
eleven of his people, were sentenced to be hanged. 
Their goods were then seized and destroyed, but by 
the intercession of Mr. Kiflin, they were pardoned 
and set at liberty. 

In Gloucestershire, the most eminent cavaliers, em- 
bittered persecutors, rode about armed with swords 
and pistols, ransacked their houses, and abused their 
families in a violent manner. In the county of Wilts, 
and diocese of Salisbury, Bishop Ward often disturbed 

( 73 ) 

their meetings in person, and encouraged his clergy 
to follow his example. Informers attended their 
meetings in disguise and levied large sums of money 
on ministers and people. 

The Church at Calne suffered much ; having.been 
often disturbed at their meeting-house, they some- 
times met at Moses' Mill, and at others under a large 
white-thorn bush, about two miles from town. The 
bush has ever since been called Gospel bush ; but 
only some small branches of it remain. 

In Lincolnshire the Baptists were bitterly persecu* 
ted. Not less than one hundred of them were im- 
prisoned. Many by heavy fines were impoverished, 
and others driven from home. Mr. Robert Shalder 
was long confined in prison, and soon after died, and 
was interred in the burying ground with his ancestors. 
The day on which he was buried, his grave was open- 
ed, the body taken out, and dragged to his former 
residence, and there left unburied. 

We cannot pursue any farther, this painful recital 
of wrong and outrage, and suffering. We may just 
observe that, while the Baptists suffered the greatest 
opposition and cruelty, other dissenters had a share of 
trial, and that all parties took gladly the spoiling of 
their goods, and went cheerfully to prison and to death 
for the sake of Christ. 

We cannot leave this interesting country, without 
introducing to a more general acquaintance than has 
been enjoyed, a few of the most distinguished char- 
acters among the Baptists. 


Soon after the Particular Baptists had founded se- 
parate churches Mr. Hansard Knollis, a graduate of 
Cambridge formed one in London, and presided over 
it upwards of fifty years. About the same period Mr. 
Francis Cornwell M. A. of Emanuel College embra- 
ced Baptist sentiments and became pastor of a church 
at Marden in Kent. Before this Mr. Benjamin Coxe, 
a bishop's son, and a graduate of one of the Univer- 
sities, had joined the Baptists, by which he lost all 
the preferments he might have enjoyed. 

Henry Denne, Christopher Blackwood, Daniel Dyke, 
Francis Bampfield and others were distinguished for 
their learning and usefulness in the reign of Charles 
the First. 

Of John Tombes B. D. even his enemies speak in 
terms of high commendation. Dr. Wall says " of the 
professed Anti pedo baptists, Mr. Tombes was a man 
of the best parts in our nation, and perhaps in any 

Henry Jesse was for several years pastor of the 
first Independent Church, but being convinced of the 
error of infant baptism, was baptized in 1645, and 
was a very useful minister in London for many years. 
He began, and almost completed a new translation of 
the Bible. 

Charles Maria Duveil a man of great reputation 
was a Jew. He united first with the €atholic, after- 
wards with the Episcopal, and finally with the Bap- 
tist Church in Grace church Street, London, of which 
he was Pastor. He was supported by many of the 


dignified clergy even after his change of sentiments; 
among whom were Drs. Stiliingfleet, and Tillotson. 
He published expositions of Mark and Luke, of the 
Acts and the minor prophets. 

John Gosnold, pastor of a church in London, was 
eminently learned, and a very popular preacher. He 
was esteemed and valued by men of note in the es- 
tablished Church. Dr. Tillotson was frequently his 

William Kiffin was distinguished as a minister, and 
also at the courts of Charles H. and James his suc- 
cessor. It was currently reported that when Charles 
wanted money he sent to Mr. Kiffin to borrow forty 
thousand pounds ; that he pleaded in excuse he had 
not so much, but that if ten thousand would be of any 
service he would present it to his Majesty ; which 
was accepted and Mr. K. afterwards said, he had saved 
thirty thousand pounds. He had great influence at 
court, and rendered essential service to his persecuted 
brethren He was nominated for one of the Aldermen 
of London, by James H. Though an honor he by no 
means desired, he was constrained to accept it. Cros- 
by says that four other Baptists were made aldermen 
at the same time. 

The famous Benjamin Keach, was the author of 
the Scripture Metaphors, and other valuable works. 
In 1664 he was prosecuted and sentenced to the pil- 
lory. He was the author of eighteen practical works, 
sixteen polemical, and nine poetical, besides a num- 


ber of prefaces and recommendations for the works 
of others. 

Dr. Gill was afterwards pastor of the same church. 
He was the author of more than sixty different works. 
Dr. Kippin assures us that had his writings been uni- 
formly printed in the size of the Exposition of the 
Old and New Testament, they would have made the 
astonishing total of ten thousand folio pages of divini- 
ty. The title of Dr. Voluminous was given him by 
Mr. Shrubsole. 

Besides those named, there were among the skilful 
defenders of the Baptists in England, Piggott, the 
Stennetts, the Wallins, the Wilsons, Evans, Brine, 
Day, Beddome, Francis, Ryland and Gifford. 

Benedict says " but few of the American Baptists 
know that John Canne, author of the marginal refer- 
ences in the Bible, Dr. Ash, author of a Dictionary 
and other classical works, Thomas Wilcox, author of 
an excellent piece entitled A diop of Honey from the 
Rock Christ, and Winterbottom, author of the View 
of America were of their sentiments. Miss Steele, 
the author of those excellent hymns in our collections,* 
was the daughter of a Baptist minister in the county 
of Hampshire." 

* Many of them are copied into other colleetions, as also 
some written by Beddome, Francis and Stennett and by 
Rippon himself. The well known hymns commencing witli 
*' Come thou fount of every blessing," "Come humble sin- 
ner in whose breast," and " On Jordan's stormy banks I 
stand," were composed by Baptists. 

{19 ) 

To those named we may add, Pearce, FuIieFj 
Carey, Jones, Hall, Foster the Essayist, and Hughes 
the originater of the British and Foreign Bible So- 
ciety, and Rippon.* There are at present in England 
many ministers and others of the Baptist denomina- 
tion, who have acquired considerable celebrity. 

A correspondent of the Editor of the American 
Baptist, speaking of Bristol says, " Here, for many 
years, the excellent Ryland labored as the Christian 
pastor and faithful tutor ; here, at his death, came 
Robert Hall, who so happily demonstrated to the 
world, that genius, though accustomed to drink Cas- 
talian dews need not shrink from a Baptism in Jor- 
dan ; and here still lives another Baptist, the venera- 
ble Essayist, the glory of the land — John Foster." 

The same writer says of the successor of Robert 
Hall, (Mr. Somers,) " he is known as one of the 
best preachers in England." He speaks also in terms 
of high commendation of Mr. Roberts, pastor of the 
church in King street, and favorably of Dr. Crisp, 
President of the Baptist College. 

In the seventeenth century, several public disputes 
were held by appointment between the Baptists and 
Pedo baptists on the subject of baptism. Mr. Tombes, 
Dr. Russell and Mr. Jeremiah Ives, were famous dis- 
putants on the Baptist side, and Dr. Featley, Mr. 
Baxter, Mr. Chandler, and others for the Pedo baptists. 

* Recent accounts from England mention the death of 
Dr. Rippon, and Dr. Newman, President of the Baptist 
College, Stepney. 


There is a pleasant anecdote related of Mr. Ives, 
which we transcribe from Benedict. He became so 
noted, that Charles II. sent for him to dispute with a 
Romish Priest. The debate was held in the presence 
of the King and many others ; Ives habited as a cler- 
gyman. " Ives pressed the priest closely, showing 
that whatever antiquity they pretended to, their doc* 
trine and practices could by no means be proved 
apostolical, since they are not to be found in any 
writings which remain of the Apostolic age. The 
priest after much wrangling, in the end replied ; 
" That this argument of Mr. Ives' was of as much 
force against infant baptism, as against the doctrines 
and ceremonies of the Church of Rome." To this 
Mr. Ives answered, " that he readily granted what he 
said to be true." The priest upon this broke up the 
dispute, saying that he had been cheated, and that he 
would proceed no further, for he came to dispute with 
a clergyman of the established church, and it was now 
evident that this was was an Anabaptist preacher. 
This behaviour of the priest afforded his majesty and 
all present not a little diversion." 

There was another dispute held, between a Baptist 
and a minister of the established church. The latter 
insisted that the debate should be in Latin, but the 
Baptist in English, that the audience might be edified. 
The clergyman still persisted, and laid down his ar- 
guments in Latin. Fortunately the Baptist was an 
Irishman, and answered in Irish. Surprised at the 
learning of hia antagonist, the priest confessed that he 

(81 ) 

(lid not understand Greek, and therefore desired him 
to reply in Latin. " Well" said the Baptist, " seeing 
you cannot dispute in Greek, I icill not in Latin, let 
us therefore dispute in English, and leave the com- 
pany to judge." The clergyman still plead for an un- 
known tongue and the debate was frustrated. 

Some differences of opinion have also existed 
among the Baptists themselves. Laying on of hands, 
singing in public worship, and the terms of commu- 
nion, have all been subjects of controversy. The first 
is not generally practised, the second prevails, per- 
haps universally, and on the last there is still a dif- 
ference in opinion and practice. The withering ef- 
fects of what is termed open communion, have been 
plainly seen by many and the contrary practice is 
gaining ground, and we doubt not will soon become 

The Baptists in England commenced at an earJy 
period, the promotion of learning among the minis- 
ters, and have now several academies under their con- 
trol and supervision. That at Bristol has obtained 
considerable celebrity. Its foundation appears to 
have been laid in 1689. The incipiency of its con- 
stant usefulness and present greatness, may be said 
to have existed in its very first student, Richard 
Sampson, who was much esteemed by Sir Isaac New- 
ton. So strong was his memory that one day when 
the conversation turned upon depriving good men of 
their bibles, Sir Isaac said, " they cannot possibly 

( S2 ) 

deprive Mr. Sampson of his, for he has it all treasure*! 
up within him." 

Besides these institutions the English Baptists have 
*' the Baptist Fund" for the purposes of assisting poor 
churches, educating pious young men, and of furnish- 
ing ministers with books ; the " Home Missionary 
Society" which employs about one hundred agents in 
publishing the gospel; the "Continental Society" 
whose object is primarily to win souls to Christ ; the 
** Baptist Irish Society," intended for the instruction 
of adults and children in the Scriptures ; the "For- 
eign Missionary Society," and the " London Baptist 
Building Fund," designed to assist poor churches in 
erecting meeting houses. The cause of Sunday 
Schools meets with an efficient advocacy and support ; 
in a word, our English brethren seem as if they do 
" expect great things," and they therefore " attempt 
great things." May the blessing of the Great Head 
of the Church rest upon them. 


We learn that Britain received the gospel about 
sixty years after the ascension, and that many to avoid 
the persecutions of the Saxons retired into Wales, 
where they were visited by the bloody St. Austin, 
who requested them to receive the commandments of 
the Pope, and baptize their children. They are upon 

( S3) 

tlie best grounds, believed to have been Baptists. 
They enjoyed tranquility for a short time, and religion 
flourished among and around them. Two large so- 
cieties were formed, one at Bangor in the North, and 
one at Carleon in the South, which were broken up 
about the year 600 by the army of Saxons, sent by 
the sanguinary Austin for that purpose. For many 
centuries after, the history of Wales is involved in 
great obscurity. The Welsh brethren are inclined to 
believe that Baptist principles lived in this country 
through all the dark ages of popery, though those who 
maintained them did not remain in a congregated 
state. We know that Wales has been for a long 
time a nursery of Baptists, and that our churches, in 
this country have from it been supplied with many 
useful ministers. 

The few particulars concerning the Welsh Baptists 
we will here present, are taken from their History by 
J. Davis, which work we recommend to those who 
feel interested in the subject. 

We have nothing of importance to communicate 
respecting them from the year 63, to the year 180, 
when Faganus and Damicanus, natives of Wales, who 
had been converted and become ministers in Rome, 
were sent to assist their brethren in Wales. They 
were faithful men and remarkably successful in win- 
ning souls to Christ. 

In the same year Lucius, the Welsh King, and the 
first monarch in the world who embraced the Chris- 
tian religion, was baptized. Finding the means of 


propagating the gospel very inadequate, he sent a 
most earnest request to Eleutberus for assistance, so 
that the Macedonian cry vibrated from the Welsh 
throne at Carludd, as well as the cabia at the foot of 
Caderidris, or Plimlimon. 

About the year 300, the period of the tenth Pagan 
persecution, the Welsh suffered considerably. The 
number of persons, meeting-houses, and books that 
were burnt, was very great. Dioclesian gave orders 
to burn up every Christian, every meeting-house, and 
every scrap of written paper belonging to the Chris- 
tians, and no doubt many valuable and interesting 
documents were then destroyed. 

God has in a remarkable manner honored the Welsh 
nation. From among them he raised up a deliverer 
from persecution, Constantino the great. He was 
born in the Isle of Britain, his father was a Roman, 
his mother, a Welsh lady of the name of Ellen, the 
daughter of Coelgodebog, Earl of Gloucester. This 
lady was very pious, and filled the whole Roman Em- 
pire with her benevolent acts in support of religion. 

Baptism by immersion, was the unanimous senti- 
ment and practice of the Welsh nation from the time 
they embraced the Christian religion until after the 
year 600, when Austin came from Rome to convert 
the Saxons. Having succeeded in a great measure : 
in England, he tried his experiments upon the Welsh, 
but was disappointed. At this period the Welsh 
were intelligent Christians. Their ministers agreed 
to meet Austin in an asseciation held on the borders 

( 80 ) 

of Herefonlshire. He was to make these proposals) 
the first was infant baptism ; but was immediately an- 
swered by the Welsh that they would keep the ordi= 
nances as they had received them from the Apostolic 
age. Upon hearing this Austin became enraged, and 
persuaded the Saxons to murder 1,200 of the Welsh 
Ministers and delegates. Many more wore afterwards 
put to death because they would not adopt infant bap- 
tism, but the leading men being now dead, King Cad- 
walader and the majority of the people submitted to 

" The vale of Carleon, says Davis, is our valley of, where the ordinances of the gospel have 
been administered to this day, in their primitive mode, 
without being adulterated by the corrupt Church 
of Rome. No wonder that Penry, W^roth and Er- 
bury, commonly called the first reformers of the Bap- 
tists in Wales, should have so many followers at once, 
when we consider that the field of their labors was 
the vale of Carleon and its vicinity. Had they never 
bowed the knee to the Baal of Rome, it is probable 
we should never have heard of their names; but as they 
were great men, and left the establishment and join- 
ed the poor Baptists, theirnames are handed down to 
posterity by both friends and foes. 

The vale of Olchon, also, is situated between moun- 
tains and almost inaccessible. How many hundred 
years it had been inhabited by Baptists before Erbury 
visited it, we cannot tell. It is a fact that cannot be con- 
troverted, that there were Baptists here at the com- 

(86 ) 

mencemcnt of the Rerormaiion. Whence came thess 
Baptists? At the time of the Reformation in the reign of 
Charles I. they had a minister namefl licwell Vaughas, 
differing from Erbury and others, who had not reform- 
ed to the extent considered necessary by the Olchon 
Baptists. This was not however to be wondered at, 
as they had dissented from the Church of England and 
probably retained some of tiie errors, while the moun- 
tain Baptists had never belonged to the establishment. 
The reformers were for mixed communion, but the 
Olchon brethren received no such j)ractice. In short 
these were plain, strict, Apostolical Baptists, who 
would have order and not confusion, with tiie Word 
of God for their only rule. They were truly a separate 
people, maintaining the order of the New Testament, 
from the year 63 to the present time. 

Wales has produced a number of great men, whose 
history we would gladly give did our limits permit, 
but as they do not, we again refer our readers to the 
History of the Welsh Baptists, and merely name a 
few. Walter Brute was cotemporary with Wickliff, 
shortly after, David Black and Dr. John Kent, dis- 
tinguished themselves as steady and successful refor- 
mers. In the year 1586 John ab Henry, an Episcopa- 
lian minister of liberal education, dissented from the 
church and became an eminent Baptist. In 1620 
Erbury and Wroth dissented from the establishment. 
Vavasor Powell left the Church in 1636, and became 
one of the most zealous and useful preachers among 
the Baptists. Many others at various periods of tima 

( 87 ) 

followed the example of these worthie?, and chose to 
FufTer affliction with the Baptists for Christ's sake. 

Persecutions of the most cruel kind have been borne 
at different times by our Welsh bretliren with chris> 
tian fortitude arid patience. They are now entitled 
to the privileges of dissenters, and are enjoying much 
prosperity. Tiie Churches are following under able 
and zealous ministers. The number of Churches and 
members will be given in our summary. 


This catholic country has never contained many 
Baptists, though a few respectable churches have ex- 
isted in it for nearly two hundred years. The first were 
founded probably, about the year 1650, as ".t appears 
by a letter from Ireland in 1653, there were then 
ten churches. The Baptists appear (o have flourish- 
ed during the existence of the Commonwealth, but, 
on the restoration of the persecuting Charles II. were 
exceedingly troubled and reduced. They are at pre» 
sent in circumstances of promised prosperity. The 
Baptist Irish Society in England will no doubt accomp» 
plish much. Rev. Stephen Davis agent of the Socie- 
ty visited this country in 1833 and obtained consider- 
able aid towards its funds. Nearly ten thousand child- 
ren, and seven or eigiit hundred adults, are taught 
ihe word of life by about fifty readers employed wholly^ 

{ ss ) 

or on the Lord's day alone. Six English ministers su- 
perintend the operations and preach the gospel in ex- 
tensive districts. 

Ireland has produced a number of great men. It 
gave birth to a famous Baptist, the champion of iion 
conformity, Thomas Delaune, who spoke what has 
been styled, an " immortal plea for the non conform- 


It was long thought that there was no Society oi 
Baptists in Scotland before the year 1765, but this 
was a mistake, as was ascertained by the discovery of 
a book, entitled " A Confession of the several con- 
gregations or churches of Christ in London, which are 
commonly (though unjustly) called Anabaptists, pub- 
lished for the vindication of the truth dec. Printed at 
Leith 1653." To this there is a preface by some 
Baptists at Leith and Edinburgh, declaring their 
agreement in faith and order with the Churches in 
London. Of whom this church was composed or its 
members is not known. It has been supposed to ex- 
ist until the restoration, w hen it was dispersed ; but 
be that as it may, there is no trace of any Baptist 
church for more than one hundred years from that 

It was not till 1765 that the Baptists made a publi^ 

( 89 ) 

appearance in that country, though their first rise may 
be traced to a little earlier period. In 1763 Robert 
Carmichael and Archibald M'Lean, conversing to- 
gether upon the subject of infant baptism, for wiiich 
they were at a loss to find scriptural grounds, agreed 
to consult the scriptures and communicate to each 
other the result. As is very frequently the case, both 
were led to renounce the sentiment. The first had 
been p.istor of an Indej)endent Society in Edinburgh 
but with seven others had separated from that society 
before he became a Baplist. To receive baptism in 
a regular way, Mr. Carmichael went to London, and 
was baptized by Dr. Gill, and returning to Edinburg 
administered that ordinance to five of the seven per- 
sons mentioned before, among whom was Robert 
Walker, a surgeon .Mr. M'Lean was not baptized for 
some weeks after. While at Edinburg he was solici. 
ted to write an answer to Mr. Glass' dissertation on 
Infant Baptism, which he did in the spring following. 
A publication of this nature being new in Scotland, 
awakened serious attention to the subject, Mr, 
M'Lean removed shortly after from Glasgow to Ed- 
inburg, and was chosen Colleague to Mr. Carmi- 
chael. Soon after this the church increased consi- 
derably. In 1769 Mr. C. left Edinburg and settled at 
Dundee. About the same time. Dr. Walker was chosen 
joint elder with Mr. M'Lean at Edinburg. In the 
same year, several persons came from Glasgow and 
were baptized. In 1770 a small society arose at Mon 
trose. From this time Baptist Sentiments extended 

and aocieties were formed in different places. 

( 90 ) 

in Scotland many Pedo baptist ministers have es- 
poused the Baptist cause, so that the interest of the 
denomination has become more prosperous. The 
converts have been mor« from the Independent con- 
nexion than the fast bound Kirk. Among those who 
have embraced Baptist sentiments, are men of distinc- 
tion for talents and wealth, and whose influence is 
very sensibly felt. 

The Independents and Baptists are nearly related. 
Their views of Chuieh goverment are alike ; in doc- 
trine they generally agree, and it is only for an Inde- 
pendent to go into the water and he becomes a Bap- 
tist at once. The Churches of the Independents have 
always been nurseries for the Baptists. We may 
therefore confidently anticipate a still greater preva- 
lence of our principles in the Scottish realm, and at 
no very remote period a very general adoption. 

We have thus glanced at the Baptists in foreign 
countries, Jind have found their history full of interest. 
We regret that more extensive information is not af- 
forded us, and also that more of that in our possession 
could not be given in this work. We sincerely hope 
that the Baptists will endeavor to become more gen- 
erally acquainted with the rise and progress of the 
denomination in other countries as well as our own, 
and if this little work will in any degree tend to such 
result, the author will have accomplished one par- 
ucuiar object in presenting it to his brethren. 



The discovery and settlement of America, with its^^ 
continuous history are most deeply interesting sub- 
jects, and especially so in respect to their religious 
aspect. We are of those who believe that it is the 
religion of a country which gives to its history, either 
its glory or shame. This will be illustrated in our 
" glance at the Baptists " in this country, identified 
as their history is with the most important events in 
the records of the nation in its early days. Suffice it 
here to say that the name of Roger Williams, and that 
of his persecutors, form a striking contrast of glory and 
reproach, the principles of one being the admiratioHj 
and those of the others, the abhorrence of all. Nor let 
the reader be surprised if we here assert that, upon 
the prevalence of pure Baptist principles depends the 
stability and glory of our government. When we 
come to treat upon those principles we believe we 
will make gocd the assertion. 



The discoverer of America was Cliristopher Coiuni' 
bus, a Native of Genoa, engaged in the service of 
Spain. It was in October 1492, that the" new world" 
burst upon the delighted vision of this bold adven- 
turer, and brought him in humble prostration before 
his God to express his gratitude for the long sought 

The success of Columbus inspired the Spanish, 
French and English with a strong desire, to promote 
discoveries, and extend their dominious. The views 
of the Spanish seem to have been principally confined 
ta the rich mines of South America. Various expe- 
ditions were fitted out by each nation, attended in 
some cases with disastrous resuhs to the parties them- 
selves, though perhaps in all with profit to the govern- 
ments by which they were supported. Temporary 
settlements only were effected until 1608, when that 
ol the French in Canada became permanent. The 
first permanent settlement of the English, was in Vir- 
ginia by Lord De la War in 1610, from which period 
we proceed to our subject. 

Most of the original settlers of America were men 
who sought temporal advantages merely, while there 
were some in process of time swayed by religious 
motives. A large portion had been residents of Eng- 


( 93 J 

and, and were for the most part attached to ihe Epis- 
copal Church, yet among them were dissenters of dif- 
ferent names. A few Baptists no doubt came into 
the country soon after settlements were made, al- 
though as we shall see, there were no organized church 
until 1639. 

Establisimients of religion were founded at the first 
in some of the colonies, but none carried their acts of in- 
tolerance to any extent except those of Virginia, iVIas- 
sachusetts and Connecticut. The Episcopal church 
was established in the CarolinaSjbut had not the spirit 
or power of carrying persecution to any great extent. 
Mr. Benedict says he is " inclined to think that, Epis- 
copacy was for a time the established religion of New 
York, as a Mr. Wichenden of Providence Rhode is- 
land was imprisoned there four months for preaching 
sometime before 1669 ; and in the year 1728 the Bap- 
tist meeting-house then newly built, was licensed and 
entered as the toleration act required. These things 
scent of Babylon, and indicate an ecclesiastical es- 

Maryland was founded by Roman Catholics, who 
were there always tolerant and mild. Rhode Island 
has from first to last maintained liberty of conscience 
in the strictest sense, without any qualification. "^ 

* Without particularly intending it, I have placed these 
states in close connection, and in doing so I arn reminded 
of the contention that has existed in regard to their claims 
to the honor of first establishing religious liberty. lam 
also reminded of an incident involving this dispute in which 

( 94 ) 

Pennsylvania was founded i)y Friends, (or Quak- 
ers,) who like the Baptists of Rhode Island w'ere op- 
posed to any establishment of religion by law. New 
Hampsiiire and Vermont, have done but little in the 
business of persecution, the New^ Slates have done 
nothing in tiiis unrighteous labor. 

In Massachusetts and Connecticut, ecclesiastical 
establishments were more firmly f)lanted than in any 
other portion of our country, as will be seen in the 
history of our brethren in these states. In Virginia 
persecution rogcd at limes with violence, but itseemy 
to have been carried on chiefly by unprincipled pro- 
fessors wliose main object was the disturbance of re- 
ligious meetings. 

The capital mistake of the Congregationalists, of 
New England, consisted in regarding the laws of 

I bore a part. The assertion was pal)licly made by me 
vhiist residing in Hanisburg, Ihnt Roger Williams was 
the first Legislator who proclaiined the doctrine of liberty 
of conscience in matters of relioion. Some Catholics were 
on that evening observed in cur place of worship. Early 
next morning I received a note from a di-stingiiisiied Priest 
ihen'in town, requesting an interview, .and permission to see 
my library, to ascertain my auiliority for the assertion, as 
he had said on the afternoon of ihe Sabbath that the Catho- 
lics of Maryland had set the ex imnle of religions tolera- 
tion. I refered to Goodrich, he to Grimshaw. In short the 
controversy between us was altogether upon the meaning 
of the terms, liberty and toleration. The dates of the 
charters were not mntters of dispute, ibat of Maryland be* 
ingnnquestionablv a few years earlier than that of Rhode 
Island. This snl)iect will be noticed in the Biography of 
U. Willains, iothis work. 

( 95) 

Moses as their rule and blending the Jewish and 
Christian dispensation together. From this source in 
fact, have arisen all the evils which have agitated and 
distracted the Caristian world, and stained its annals 
with blood. 

While the fathers of New England were certainly 
men of understanding, some of their Legislative acts 
and ecclesiastical proceedings were extremely absurd 
and ridiculous. In 1633, the Massachusetts assembly 
passed a law that, *' Whosoever shall stand excom- 
municated for the space of six months, without la- 
boring what in him or her lieth to be restored, such 
shall be presented to the Court of Assistants, and 
then proceeded with by fine, imprisonment, banish- 
ment, or further for the good behavior, rs their con- 
tempt and obstinacy upon full hearing s!)all deserve." 

In 1G56, a great dispute arose upon the question of 
the baptism of children whose parents were not im- 
mediate members of the church. Twenty one ques- 
tions were sent by the Connecticut people to those of 
Massachusetts respecting it ; an ecclesiastical assem- 
bly was called which sat fifteen days, to deliberate 
upon this very weighty matter. The dispute not set- 
tled by them, existed for some years and divided some 
churches. One party contended that, if such parents 
would own the. Covenant their parents made for 
them when they were initiated into the churchy they 
should have the privilege of getting their children 
baptized. In this way originated what is called the 
half way covenant, .While the dispute was carried od» 


some found a way to remove the difficulty by having 
the children baptized on their grand parents' account; 
but in such case others said they must take charge of 
their education. These were frivolous controversies 
arising not from want of ability in those concerned, 
but from the absurdity of the principles they had 

Ministers in New England were at first voluntarily 
supported, but in 163S a law was made, compelling 
their support by assessment and distress to be levied 
by the proper officers. This was the beginning of the 
iniquitous policy which caused the Baptists so much 
vexation and suffering. 

The first Church of the Baptist denomination in 
America was founded by the illustrious R.oger^Wil- 
Iiams, at Providence, R. I. in 1639; the second, at 
Newport in 1644, by Dr. John Clarke, the third in the 
same town in 1656, the fourth in Swansea, Massachu- 
setts in 1663 by John Miles, and the First Boston in 
1665, founded by Thomas Gould, was the fifth. In 
forty years from the last date there were twelve others 
constituted, making in almost a hundred years after 
the settlement of America, only seventeen Baptist 
churches to befound in it. 

Mr. Benedict commences the same epoch or gen- 
eral division of his history in 1707, the date of the 
constitution of the last of the twelve churches men- 
tioned above. In this year the Philadelphia Associa- 
tion was founded v/ith five churches ; it is the oldest 
in the United States. Its history would furnish mat- 

( 97 ) 

cr of interest sufficient for a large volume. From 
1707 till 1740, about twenty new Churches were rais- 
ed up in different parts of the United States. 

In 1740 a powerful work'of grace began in New 
England, and prevailed also in some other parts, un« 
der the ministry of the famous Whitefield, and called 
by way of derision the New Light Stir. The work 
began among the Pedo baptists, and where they op- 
posed it, separation ensued. The separates as they 
were termed, took the Bible for their guide and of 
course Baptist principles advanced. Pedo baptists 
were seen persecuting their brethren for being too 
religious. The Clergy of Connecticut detirmined 
that the New Light Stir was not according to law, and 
therefore stimulated their rulers to attempt its regula- 
tion by law. 

As before observed, the New Light doctrines tend- 
ed to Baptist principles, and those who followed thena 
were led to embrace believer's Baptism. Many Bap- 
tist Churches arose out of the separate societies, and 
the late venerable Backus,* Hastings, and a number 
of other baptist Ministers were at first of their con- 

Towards the conclusion of the revolution extensive 
revivals of religion were enjoyed in different parts of 
the country, and the Baptists increased. According 

* Mr. Backus wrote a history of the Baptists. Bancroft 
in hie history of the United States says of him " he de« 
^erree more reputation than he has had. " 

( 98 ) 

to Backus, there were in 1780 not less than two thou- 
sand persons baptized in the New England states 
alone. In ten years, beginning with 1780 and end- 
ing with 1789, there wereover two hundred churches 
organized in the United States. 

In 1780 John Asplund published his first Register. 
He had travelled in eighteen months, about seven 
thousand nailes, chiefly on foot, to collect materials 
for the w^ork, from which we learn that there were 
then in the States and Territories, eight hundred and 
sixty-eight churches, one thousand one hundred and 
thirty-two ministers, and sixty-four thousand nine 
hundred and seventy-five members. In 1794 he pub- 
lished a second Register, by which it appears that 
the number of churches had considerably increased. 

Since the termination of the War, not many of our 
brethren have sufi*ered for their religious opinions. In 
Connecticut and Massachusetts however, they have 
since been subjected to the mortifying requisition of 
furnishing certificates of membership to exempt them 
from taxation and distress. The law of Massachusetts 
was made in 1811. 

Out of the New Light Stir arose many churches, 
which adopted open communion, but very few of these 
remain ; some were torn to pieces by the embarrass- 
ing policy, and others commune with baptized belie- 
Ters only. 

Baptist views of the ordinance of baptism have 
spread rapidly in the United States, within twenty 
y»ars, and many of other denominations have condes- 


acended, or been obliged to go into the water with 
those who would not be satisfied with any thing short 
of immersion. But within a few years we have been 
subjected to painful divisions, especially in the wes- 
tern states by the sentiments of Alexander Campbell. 
He is a resident of Brooke County, Virginia, a man of 
fine talents and education and of pleasing address, 
and has on these accounts insinuated himself into the 
esteem of many of the churches and spread over them 
his plausible errors. The errors with which he is 
charged are, an undue stress upon baptism, and a de- 
nial of the necessity of the spirit in regeneration and 
faith ; in fact, he has come out with denunciations of 
the Baptist community so sweeping as to reach nearly 
all their sentiments, and to make them appear if not 
wholly wrong, altogether deficient. But the Baptists 
have endured so many trials, that they need only to 
stand upright in their confidence in their Master and 
go on to prosper. 

On the whole it appears, that the ordinances cf the 
Lord's appointment are returning to their original 
purity. Many have laid aside infant sprinkling as a 
useless ceremony and tacitly acknowledge believers 
as the only proper subjects of baptism, and that im- 
mersion is the scriptural mode, who have not espous- 
ed the Baptist cause, and many of both ministers and 
members of all the Pedo baptist churches are every 
year uniting openly with us. 

Benedict's History was brought up to about the 
close of the year 1812, when the number of Baptists 

( 100) 

m the United States, had swelled to about one hun- 
dred and ninety thousand; with nearly two thousand 
five hundred churches. According to Allen's Regis- 
ter, the number in 1832 was three hundred and ele- 
ven associations, five thousand five hundred and thir- 
teen churches, forty-two thousand five hundred and 
seventeen baptized, four hundred nine thousand six 
hundred and fifty-eight total of members. The re- 
tarns for 1835 wdll be given at the end of this volume. 
The various benevolent institutions of religion and 
morality, have always to some extent enjoyed the pa- 
tronage ef the American Baptists. They are now 
more generally and more heartily than ever engaged 
in works of faith and labors of love. They have as 
far as possible, co-operated with their Pedo baptist 
brethren, and the funds of the several Unions have 
realized a handsome enlargement by their contribu- 
tions ; but whilst we hope they will continue to do 
good wherever they can, it seems now necessary that 
their great number and vast resources, constitute cir- 
cumstances which make a loud appeal in favor of di- 
recting the energies of the denomination to its own 
immediate interests. Tbe great number of Sunday 
Schools, the recent decision of the American Bible 
Society not to aid in the circulation of our translations 
in heathen lands, together with our enlarged and en- 
larging Missionary operations, and the call for books 
made by the members of the churches and their nu- 
merous adherents, seem not only to justify, but de- 

( 101 ) 

mand our decisive and unanimous action, and it is 
hoped that this year will not pass away without it. 


This Chapter will be devoted to a more particular 
account of the Baptists in each state. It must how- 
ever be very short, or our limits will be far exceeded. 
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada, (though 
belonging to the British Crown) as their religious his- 
tory is interwoven with that of the states, will be no- 
ticed with them. 


At the close of the French war, many families 
emigrated from New England to these provinaes. 
Among these emigrants were some Baptists, and from 
that period there have been some of the denominatioa 
found in them. 

The first church was formed in Massachusetts , 
April, 1763 of thirteen persons, who went in a body 

( 102) 

to Sackville, New Brunswick, where they remained 
about eight years, during which time the church in- 
creased to about sixty members. The original foun- 
ders returned in 1771 to Massachusetts, and soon after 
the church was dissolved. Another was however 
raised up in 1800. 

In 1776 and a few succeeding years, there were 
extensive revivals of religion in Nova Scotia promoted 
chiefly by Henry Allen, aCongregationalist. By his 
zealous labors with those of his associates, many Con- 
gregationalist Churches were formed ; many, if net 
most of them have given place to Baptist Churches. 
Mixed communion was long practiced, but a reforma- 
tion has been effected in this matter, and after a trial of 
the liberal plan the churches have adopted restricted 

The Baptist interest is now in a flourishing condi- 
tion, as will appear from the following sketch. In 
1811 there were in the two provinces one association, 
nineteen churches, thirteen ministers, and one thou- 
land two hundred and thirty members. From Allen*s 
Register, Summary view we learn that in 1832 * 
there were two associations, seventy. five churches, 
forty-six ministers, and five thousand one hundred 
and ninety members. The brethren support a Mis- 
sionary Magazine, and are united happily in Christian 
enterprise. The Nova Scotia association had at one 

* The New Brunswick associational returns were for 
1831. If received in time the returns from both will be 
givea at the close of this yolume. 

( 103 ) 

time constituted itself, a " Society for the prcmotion 
of Domestic Missions," but has more recently resolv- 
ed itself into a Society f©r advancing both Domestic 
and Foreign Missions, under a new Constitution. 


A small church was formed on Piscataqua river, in 
the South West part of the district in 1682, which by 
the persecutions of its enemies and the removal of its 
members to other places, was soon broken up. We 
know no more of the Baptists here after this, until 
about 1767 when there was a revival of religion in 
Berwick, and a considerable number were baptized 
and formed into a church. The next church consti- 
tuted was at Gorham. In 1784 and 1785 the princi- 
pies of the Baptists spread through the District, and 
a number of churches were formed. la 1812 accord- 
ing to Benedict there were three associations, more 
than one hundred and twenty churches, and upwards 
of six thousand members. In 1832 the numbers had 
reached, nine associations, two hundred and twenty- 
two churches and fifteen thousand members. 

In 1805, Mr. Merrill pastor of a Congregational 
church in Sedgwick embraced the doctrine of belie- 
ver's baptism, and preached seven sermons in defence 
of it, which have passed through many editions and 
obtained exiensive circulation. Mr. M. and wife and 

( 104) 

others of his church, to the number of sixty-six were 
buried in baptism, May 13, 1805. Nineteen more 
were baptized the next day, and the Congregational 
church continued to repair to the water until about 
one hundred and twenty submitted to the ordinance. 
Unusual sensations were thereby produced : many 
wondered and reproached, and a spirited controversy 
was carried on for some time. 

The church at Portland was originated in a manner 
somewhat singular. In 1796 five or six persons were 
hopefully converted, and became zealously engaged 
in religious pursuits. Not satisfied with the preach- 
ing they usually attended they went over to Cape 
Elizabeth, where they were comforted by the minis- 
try of Mr. Clarke, a Congregationalist. Mr. Clarke 
soon after died and Mr. Titcomb, (one of the inquir- 
ers,) opened his house for meetings. Here they read 
sermons, prayed and sung. They next proceeded to 
read the scriptures only, and expound them as they 
were able. They had no thoughts of becoming bap- 
tists, nor was the subject of baptism any part of their 
study. But the Bible made them baptists. This church 
in 1882 contained two hundred and seventy members. 

The brethren in Maine are united in a State Con- 
vention, and pretty generally support the institutions 
of the times, and are now enjoying extensive revivals 
o( religion. 

( 105 


The first church in this state was gathered in 1755^ 
and existed alone until 1770, from which time till 
1779 nine others arose. They then began to multi- 
ply, so that nine more v/ere constituted in 1780. 

This increase aroused the resentment of some of 
the neighboring clergy to such a degree, that a letter 
from one of them appeared the next year in one of 
the Boston papers, contaming the following clause ; 
"Alas! the consequence of the prevalence of this 
sect! They cause divisions every where. In the state 
of New Hampshire where there are many new towns 
and infant settlements, if this sect gets footing among 
them they hinder and are likely to hinder, their set- 
tling and supporting learned, pious, and orthodox 
ministers; and the poor inhabitants of those towns 
must live who knows how long ! without the ministry 
of the gospel and gospel ordinances. " This slander- 
ous epistle was harmless, and Baptist sentiments 
continued to prevail so that by the year 1795, there 
were within the bounds of the stale, forty-one churches 
with two thousand five hundred and sixty-two com- 
municants. In 1S.32, there were ninety churches, 
and six thousand five hundred members. 

The Baptists never suffered much religious oppres- 
sion in this state, nor were they harrass£d with rain- 

( 106' ) 

isterial taxes, though in a few instances they have' 
been obliged to lodge certificates or make some for= 
mal declaration of their faith to avoid parish rates. 
At present they enjoy all they have ever asked, that 
is, to be Itt alone. 


In 1788 a Baptist church was gathered \n Shafts- 
bury, and in 1773 another atPownal. In the former 
place there was a second church formed in 1780, a 
third in 1781, and a fourth in 1788 which have enjoy- 
ed the greatest prosperity. In one season of refresh- 
ment about one hundred and fifty persons were bap- 

The church at Pownal prospered greatly under the 
ministry of a Mr. Caleb Nichols, who commenced his 
ministry with them in 1788. He finished his course 
m 1804. 

The associations and churches in this state, have 
been at difl^erent times engaged in discussing the sub- 
ject of Masonry. In 1803 the Saratoga association 
made a report by a committee on the question of to- 
lerating members who united with Masonic Societies, 
the purport of which was that, as brethren did not 
pretend they were bound in conscience by any rule 
in the word of God to form any such connections, 
Then they knew it caused grief in some, they gave 

( 107 ) 

sufficient reason for others to conclude that they did 
not follow after the things that make for peace 6tCo 
and of course if they persisted in such a course they 
ought to be rejected from fellowship. Yet they did 
not wish to have their correspondence with sister 
associations interrupted ; at the same time they flat- 
tered themselves with the hope that no delegates 
would be sent to them who maintained a connection 
with Masonic Lodges. 

There were until 1807, some statutes of a religious 
nature in the government of this state, which em- 
barrassed the Baptists in a few instances. Through 
the exertions of Aaron Leland and Ezra Butler, both 
Baptist ministers, the former Speaker of the lower 
house, and the latter an active member of the Senate, 
a law was passed in that year giving religious free- 
dom to all. 

By Benedict's table it appears there were in I8I25 
one hundred and twenty-four churches with nine 
thousand two hundred members. In 1832, there were 
one hundred and twenty-five churches and ten thou- 
sand five hundred and twenty-five members. 

This small increase arises from the fact that the 
Baptists in Vermont did nothing for themselves for 
some years prior to 1831, and were losing ground. 
They then put forth more exertion, and in one year 
there were not less than two thousand persons bap- 
tized. A minister there says, "We are now going 
op to possess the interesting portions of land hithert© 

( 108 ) 

unoccupied by our people." Much of this efficiency 
is owing to the circulation of a religious paper among 
them, entitled the " Vermont Telegraph- " 


From the first settlement of this state, there ap* 
pears to have been some Baptists (or persons tinc- 
tured with Anabaptistical errors as the phraseology 
of those times runs) residing in it. It was asserted 
by Doctor Mather, that "'some of the first planters in 
New England were Baptists." Roger Williams was 
not a Baptist practically while in this state, but he 
here began his heretical career. It was feared at 
Plymouth, "that he would run the same course of 
rigid separation and Anabaptistry which Mr. John 
Smith, of Amsterdam had done." After he went to 
Salem it is said that, " in one year's time he filled 
that place with principles of rigid separation tending 
to Anabaptism." 

It has always been found that the principles of the 
reformation when carried to their legitimate conse- 
quences, will endanger infant baptism. " Bishop 
Sanderson says, that Archbishop "Whitgift, and the 
learned Hooker, men of great judgment, and famous 
in their times, did long since foresee and declare their 
f«ar that if ever Puritanism should prevail among us, 
it would soon draw in Anabaptism after it." The 

( 109) 

Archbishop and Mr. Hooker were right in their con* 
jectures, and the first settlers of New England were 
aware of it, and therefore took all the care they could 
to arrest the progress of such a heresy, and thougb 
the means they adopted were highly censurable, they 
were attended with too much success. It was a long 
time before the Baptists could gain much ground, 
though it is probable they would have succeeded 
sooner here, had not Rhode Island offered them a 
resting place so congenial with their views and feel- 

There was an attempt made, it seems, to form a 
Baptist Church at Weymouth in 16S9, which was 
frustrated. The principal promoters were all arraigned 
before the court and fined. The court, having dis- 
persed these heretics, •' thought fit to set apart a day 
of humiliation, to seek the face of God," dec. 

In 1640, Mr. Charles Chauncey came over to this 
country ; he was an advocate for dipping, but regard- 
ed infants as proper subjects of baptism. He was 
esteemed a great scholar and a godly man. This man 
gave the good people much trouble ; they feared he 

ight annihilate their practice of baptism, and there- 
fore threw in his way such obstacles as would occa- 
sion him trouble. They proposed that the minister 
with \rhom he was to be associated, should do all the 
sprinkling, so that he might not be obliged to admin- 
ister the rite only in his own way; but with this 
proposal he would not agree. He removed from 

( 110 ) 

Plyiijouth to Scituate, where he was settled many 

In the same )^ear, a lady of considerable distinction, 
called by Governor Winthrcp the lady Moody, " was 
taken with the error of denying baptism to infants. 
She belonged to the church in Salem, and was dealt 
with by many of the elders and others, but persisting in 
her views and fearing serious consequences, she re* 
moved to Long Island. Many others of the same 
mind r,emoved there also. A more particular account 
of the persecutions carried on against the Baptists in 
this state, is reserved for the Chapter devoted to the 
subject of periecution. 

The £rst church formed in Massachusetts was 
at Swansea, by John Miles, who came from Wales, 
where he had founded a church in 1649, in a place 
of the same name. He continued pastor of the 
ehurch until his death in 1683, and was esteemed an 
sxcellect and useful man. 

Two years after this church was formed, the first 
in Beston was begun, and in 1685, there was one com- 
menced at Dartmouth ; but so slowly did the Baptist 
interest progress, that in a century after the church 
m Swansea was organized, there were but eighteen 
churches in the state, that were permanent. After 
the War, which broke some of the bands of oppres- 
pression, that interest revived and many new churches 
arose, so that by 1784 there were sixty-four churches, 
and daring the succeeding ten years, twenty more 
w^e added to the number. In 1813, there were four 

( 111 ) 

associations, ninety-four ehurches, and eight thousand 
five hundred and forty-two members ; in 1832 there 
were ten associations, one hundred and eighty-nine 
churches, and twenty thousand two hundred members. 
The Massachusetts brethren are very actively en- 
gaged in all laudable efforts to promote the Kingdom 
of Christ both at home and abroad. They have a 
Sabbath School Union well supported. 


Rhode Island is the smallest state in the Union, its 
greatest length being forty-seven miles, its greatest 
breadth thirty-seven. Roger Williams was its founder. 
He was banished from Massachusetts in the inclem- 
ent month of January, 1636. The soil he considered 
as the property of the Indians, and therefore took es- 
pecial care that no part of it should be occupied until 
it was fairly purchased. In these principles he pre- 
ceded William Penn more than forty years. 

Among the savages, he found the favor that had 
been denied him by Christians, and many of his 
friends soon followed him to his beloved Patmos. He 
gained the confidence and friendship of two Narra- 
ganset princes, of whom he made the purchase of his 
territory. Acquiring very soon a knowledge of the In- 
dian language, he was able to carry on the business of 
trade and negociation, and succeeded in obtaining an 

( 118 ) 

influence over the savage tribes which enabled him to 
soothe their irritations, and break up their confedera- 
cies against the English. The very first exercise of 
this influence was in favor of those who had cruelly 
banished him. " It was not price or money," says 
Mr. Williams, " that could have purchased Rhode Iz- 
land, but 'twas obtained by love."* In another place 
he says, "The Indians were very shy and jealous of 
selling the lands to any, and chose rather to make a 
grant of them to such as they affected; bui at the 
same time, expected such gratuities and rewards, as 
made an Indian gift oftentimes a very dear bargain. " 

The first deed which he obtained of his lands, or at 
least the first now extant, bears date two years after his 
settlement at Providence. It is signed by the two 
Sachems of the tribe, Canonicus and his nephew 
Miantinomo, and may properly be presented here. 
The proper names will be given as they occur in Bene- 
dict's History, and in Knowles' memoirs of Roger 
Williams; the latter, being the more modern ortho- 

"At Nanhiggansick, (Narraganset,) the 24 of the 
first month, commonly called March, in the second 
year of our plantation, or planting at Mooshausick, 
(Moshassuck,) or Providence ; Memorandum, that 
We, Caunannicus, (Canonicus,) and Miantinomu, 
(Miantinomo,) the two chief sachems, of Nanhiggan- 

* Mr. WilUams mentions Sir Henry Vane with grate- 
ful feelings, as an efficient instrument in obtaining the land 
from the Indians, and the Charter for the Colony. 

( 113 ) . 

sick, having two years since sold unto Roger Wil- 
liams the lands and meadows upon the two fresh ri- 
vers called Mooshausick and Wanaskatucket, (Wanas- 
quatucket,) do now by these presents, establish and 
confirm the bounds of these lands from the rivers and 
fields of Pautuckett, (Pawtucket,) the great hill of 
Neoterconkenitt, (Notaquoncanot,) on the north west, 
and the town of Mashapauge on the west. As also, 
in consideration of the many kindnesses and services 
he hath continually done for us both for our friends 
of Massachusetts also at Quininkticutt, (Connecticut,) 
and Apaura or Plymouth ; we do freely give unto him 
all that land from those rivers reaching to Pautuxett 
as also the grass and meadows upon Pautuxett river. 
In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands 
in the presence of 

The mark (a bow) of Caunannicits, 
The mark (an arrow) of Miantikomu. 
The mark of Seatagh (Sohash. ) 
The mark of Assotemewett (Alsomunsit.) 
'• 1639, Memorandum, 3rd month, 9th day, this 
was all again confirmed by Miantinomu ; he acknow- 
ledged this his act and hand ; up the stream of Pau- 
tuckett and Pautuxett without limits we might have 
for our use of cattle : Witness hereof 

Roger Williams, 
Benedict Arnold. 
'* The lands thus ceded to Mr. Williams, were con- 
veyed to twelve men who accompanied or soon joined 
him. reserving for himself an equal part only." A 

( 114 ) 

number more were shortly after admitted into the com- 
pany of the settlement. Thirty pounds is the whole 
amount received by Mr. Williams as a remuneration 
for his expense and toils, but whether that were paid 
by the first twelve persons mentioned, or by succeed- 
ing settlers, is a disputed though an unimportant ques- 
tion. *' The conduct of Mr. Williams in these trans- 
actions, must be acknowledged to have been highly 
honorable, disinterested, and liberal. He held the 
title to the whole territory and he might, apparently. 
havG amassed wealth and gratified ambition, by re- 
taining the control of the town, and selling the lands 
to be held of him as the proprietor. But he renounced 
all plans of power and emolument ; he placed himself 
on an equality with the other settlers, among whom he 
claimed no other influence than that which sprung 
from his personal character. "* Where is another 
Roger Williams to be found? 

We will be permitted here to transcribe the follow- 
ing passage, as explanatory of Mr. Williams' design 
in the transactions referred to. 

" Notwithstanding I had the frequent promise of 
Miantinomu my kind friend, that it should not be 
land that I should want about those bounds mentioned, 
provided that I satisfied the Indians there inhabiting, 
I having made corenant of peaceful neighborhood 
with all the sachems and natives round about us, and 
having, in a sense of God'is merciful Providence unto 

* Memoirs of Roger Williams by Knowles ; an interest- 
ing and valuable work. 

( 115) 

me in my distress called the place Providence, I 
desired it might be for a shelter for persons distressed 
for conscience ; I then considering the condition of 
divers of my countrymen, I communicated my said 
purchase unto my loving friends, John Throckmorton 
and others, who then desired to take shelter here witii 
me. And whereas by God's merciful assistance I was 
the procurer of the purchase, not by monies or pay= 
meat, the natives being so shy and jealous that monies 
could not do it, but by that language, acquaintance, 
and favor with the natives, and other advantages 
which it pleased God to give me; and also bore the 
charges and venture of all the gratuities which I gave 
to the great sachems and other sachems and natives 
round about us, and lay engaged for a loving and 
peaceable neighborhood with them, to my great 
charge and travel ; it was therefore thought fit that I 
should receive some consideration and gratuity. " 
Thus after mentioning the said thirty pounds and say- 
ing "this sum I received; and in love to my friends, 
and with respect to a town and place of succor for 
the distressed as aforesaid I do acknowledge this said 
sum and payment a full satisfaction. " 

After the Colony was thus commenced, and the lit- 
tle community invested with the power of admitting 
others to citizenship, the number was soon increased 
by emigrants from Massachusetts and from Europe. 
Whilst the proprietor designed the door of the colony 
to stand open to all without regard to their religious 
Tiews, he was careful to provide for the maintcnaqsjx^ 

( 116 ) 

of civil peace. Every one was required to subscribe 
the following covenant. 

"We whose names are here underwritten being de- 
sirous to inhabit in the town of Providence, do pro- 
raise to submit ourselves, in active or passive obe- 
dience to all such orders or agreements as shall be 
made for public good of the body, in an orderly way, 
by the major consent of the present inhabitants, mas- 
ters of families, incorporated together into a township, 
and such others whom they shall admit unto the same 
o?ily in civil things. " 

This simple instrument was undoubtedly drawn up 
by Roger Williams ; it bears the impress of his char- 
acter and was the germ of those free institutions under 
which Rhode Island has flourished till the present day. 

Some time in the summer of 1643, Mr. Williams 
sailed for England, wjiere he arrived at a critical, 
though perhaps favorable period. A civil war then 
convulsed the nation, which resulted in the overthrow 
of the king (Charles I.) and of the monarchy, and the 
establishment of the Commonwealth under the pro- 
tectorship of Cromwell. The parliament during the 
struggle seemed disposed to strengthen themselves 
by gaining the favor of the American Colonists. In 
November of 1643, the Earl of Warwick was appoint- 
ed by Parliament, Governor in Chief and Lord High 
Admiral of the American Colonies, with a council of 
five Peers and twelve Commoners. From these Com- 
missioners Mr. Williams easily obtained through Sir 
Henry Yane one of their number, a charter for the. 

( 117 ) 

colony of Rhode Island dated March 14, 1643-4 and 
granting full powers for forming and maintaining a 
civil government. This Charter lasted till 1663, when 
another was granted by Charles II. by which without 
any essential alteration the colony has been ever since 

The inhabitants of Rhode Island in their attach- 
ment to religious freedom have been the subjects of 
much calumny and injury. Their neighbors of Mas- 
sachusetts and Connecticut could not endure an asy- 
lum for the oppressed so near them, and which was so 
palpable a condemnation of their intolerance. These 
states actually took possession of a part of their lands, 
but failing of their design on this plan they excited the 
Indians to harass them, and devised other expedients 
for their ruin. They finally strove to gain a party of 
sufficient strength to outvote them, and establish 
their systems of parish worship, and parish taxeso 
The people were called the " scum and runaways of 
other colonies, and considered as so sunk in barbarity 
that they could speak neither good English nor good 
sense, despisers of God's worship and without order or 
government. " Dr, Mather m his Magnalia says of 
this state ; " It has been a CoUuvies of Antinomians, 
Familists, Anabaptists, Antisabbatarians, Sociniane, 
Quakers, Ranters, every thing in the world but Ro- 
man Catholics and real Christians, though of the latter, 
I hope, there have been more than of the former among 
them ; so that if a man had lost his religion he might 
find it at this general muster of opinionists. " He saye 

V "8 ) 

much more to the same purpose and informs us th^t 
the Massachusetts ministers had made a chargeless 
tender of preaching the gospel to these wretched peo- 
ple ; but the offers had been refused. Something of 
this same charity was continued when Mr. Benedict 
wrote his history and he says " many wish that more 
good may follow their labors than hag hitherto done." 
We have spent more time in the history of this little 
state than any other, because it is so identified with 
the name of Roger Williams that a perusal of his 
MemoinflifSuggests so rich a fund of matter that it is 
difficult to resist the tempation to transcribe even 
much more. We will now notice the rise and pro- 
gress of the churches. The church at Providence 
was not only the first in the state, but in this country.* 
It was formed in the year 1639 by Roger Williams 
and eleven others, none of whom were baptized before 
their settlement in this colony. They were convinced 
forBome time of the truth and their duty, but had been 
prevented from submission to it by a variety of cir- 
cumstances. To obtain a suitable administrator of 
baptism was a matter of some consequence ; at length 
the candidates appointed Mr. Ezekiel Holliman a man 
of gifts and piety to baptize Mr. Williams, who in re- 
turn baptized Mr. Holliman and the other ten. As the 
validity of this baptism has been called in question it 
may not be im proper to notice that point, and as the 

* It was the second in the whole British dominions if 
(aa is believed,) its date is earlier in the year than tho 
second church constituted in England in IG39. 

( lis ) 

views of ProfessorKnowles are more to the point than 
any thing we could say, we will present a few quota- 
tions from his excellent work. He says, " The^spirit,of 
the scriptures, if not their letter assigns to the minist- 
ers of the gospel the duty of administering the ordinan- 
ces of the church. Expediency obviously requires an 
adherence to this general principle. But the language 
of the Bible is not so decisive upon this point as to 
make it certain, that a layman might not, in cases 
where a minister could not be obtained, administer 
the ordinances. It is known, that in the e^est ages 
of the church, while there was a general observance 
of the principle, that the administration of the ordin- 
ances belongs to ministers, laymen were occasionally 
permitted to baptize." He then quotes Mosheim, 
Ambrose, and Jerome, in proof of that permission and 
proceeds to observe that " there were, it is true, at a 
Tery early period, erroneous views of the indispensa- 
ble necessity of baptism to salvation, which led to 
Tarious unauthorized practices. But the principle, 
that laymen might lawfully baptize, in certain exigen- 
cies, seems to have been early admitted, and it was 
formally sanctioned by a decree of the Council of 

<* But the reason of the case is of more weight than 
the decisions of councils. It sometimes happens that, 
persons become Christians, without the direct labors 
of a minister." He then supposes a case and asks 
the questions arising from it, and adds *'the duty of 
the conrerts to assemble, to pray, and to exhort each 


Other, would be clear. Their voluntary agreement 
thus lo meet, to maintain mutual watchfulness, and to 
enjoy the ordinances of the gospel, would constitute 
them a church. They might call one of their num- 
ber, possessing in their judgment, suitable gifts, to 
the office of the ministry, and this election by the 
church would be the only human sanction which such 
a minister would need, to authorize him to preach the 
gospel, and to administer the ordinances. This posi- 
tion cannot be denied, without resorting to the doc- 
trine of a regular apostolical succession. Those who 
insist on an apostolical succession, are obliged to 
trace their ministry through the channel of the papal 
clergy. " 

"No minister could have been obtained in America, 
to baptize Mr. Williams. The case was one of ob- 
vious necessity, and the validity of the baptism can- 
not be denied^ vvithout rejecting the fundamental prin- 
ciple, on which dissenting churches rest, that all the 
ecclesiastical power or earth resides ultimately in the 
•hurch, and that she is authorized to adopt any mea- 
sures, not repugnant to the scriptures, which may be 
necessary for her preservation and prosperity. What 
ever the New Testament has positively prescribed, 
must of course be strictly obeyed. " 

la regard to the question Mr. Knowles says in a 
note, " it has no practical impoitance. All whom he 
immersed were, as Pedo baptists must admit, baptiz- 
ed. The great family of Baptiets in this country did 
not ipring from the first church in Providence. Many 

^ 121 ) 

Baptist ministers and members came, at an early pe' 
riod from Europe, and thus churches were formed in 
different parts of the country, which have since mul= 
tiplied over the land. Of the four hnndred thousand 
Baptist communicants now in the 'United States, a 
small fraction only have had any connection, either 
immediate or remote, with the venerable church at Pro- 
vidence, though her members are numerous, and she 
has been honored as the Mother of many ministers." 
How long Mr. Williams remained with the church 
is a disputed point as is the reason of his forslaking the 
ministry. The latter most probably from his own 
writings was, on account of some peculiar views of 
the character of the Ministry, under the influence- of 
which he could not "in the holy presence of God bring 
in the result of a satisfying discovery, that either the 
begetting ministry of the Apostles or Messengers to 
the nations, or the feeding and nourishing ministry 
of pastors and teachers, according to the first institu- 
tion of Ike Lord Jesus are yet restored and extant." 
We need not pause to consider the erroneous nature 
of his views, though we must regret that he ever form- 
ed them, sincere as he no doubt was in their main- 
tenance. In a word, he did not leave the church be- 
cause he ceased to be a Baptist. 

"The church at first met in a grove, unless in stormy 
weather when they assembled in private houses. The 
ministers who succeeded Mr. Williams were Mr. 
Brown and Mr. Wickendon. The latter preached'for 
•some time in the city of New York and was there 

( 12-3 ) 

imprisoned four months. Their first meeting house 
was erected in 1700, at the expense of their pastor 
Mr. Pardon Tillinghast ; a larger one was erected in 
17] 3 in its place. The present elegant and spacious 
house was opened on the 28th May 1775. The floor 
is laid eighty feet square^ It contains one hundred 
and twenty-six square pews on the ground floor ; a 
large gallery on the South, West and North, and one 
other above on the West for the use of the blacl^s. It 
has a steeple one hundred and ninety-six feet high 
furnishedVith a good clock and bell. The original 
bell was cast in London, and contained upon it the 
following motto. 

" For freedom of conscience, the town was first planted; 
Persuasion, not force was used by the people ; 
This church is the eldest, and has not recanted, 
Enjoying and granting bell, temple and steeple." 

The bell was split by ringing in 1787 and was re- 
cast ; the present weight is two thousand three hun- 
dred and eighty-seven pounds and its inscription is, 
-• This Church was founded, A. D. 1639, the first in 
the State, and the oldest of the Baptists in America." 

The church has enjoyed the pastoral labors of some 
eminent ministers. Is is well endowed with tempor- 
alities, among which we notice particularly *' a legacy 
of about three hundred dollars, bequeathed by a black 
sister, deceased, for the benefit of the poor colored 
members.*' The number of its members was in 1832 
£ve hundred and fifteen : the pastor Pv. E. Pattison. 

The second Church in Providence was constituted 

( 123) 

11 1805, in perfect agreement with the first and rC' 
calved from it the hand of fellowship as a sister com- 
munity. In 1S32 it numbered two hundred and for- 
ty-four members, under the pastoral care of Mr. 
Church. It has been from Uie commencement of this 
year, (1836,) in the enjoyment of a precious and pow- 
erful revival, some acco'unt of which recently appear- 
ed in the American Baptist, furnished by the pastor, 
Mr. J. Blain. Forty-five persons were baptized on 
one occasion. 

The third church was formed in 1821 and contain- 
ed in 1832 one hundred and fifty members. The 
churches at Pawtucket and Pawtuxet, are branches of 
the ancient church in Providence, a church whose his- 
tory must be interesting to every Baptist and lover of 
liberty. "This Church" said Governor Hopkins a 
Quaker (in 1765) " hath from its beginning kept itself 
in repute, and maintained its discipline, so as to avoid 
scandal or schism to this day;" and we repeat the 
saying of the disinterested Friend. It has existed 
and enjoyed spiritual and temporal prosperity under 
the influence of those liberal principles which many 
have represented as heretical, licentious, dangerous 
and disorganizing. 

Newport. For the origin of the first church here 
we must go back to 1644, when according to tradition 
It was formed. John Clark M. D. was its founder 
and fii*3t minister. Where he was born is not certain- 
ly linown. In some of his old papers he is styled 
" John Clark of London, Physician," but tradition 
liiakes him a native of Bedfordshire. His baptism 

( 134) 

and ordination are also matters of uncertainty; tradi- 
tion says he was a preacher before he left Boston, but 
that he became a. Baptist afterwards by means of 
Roger Williams. He was imprisoned in Boston as 
will be seen in the accounts of persecutions. He was 
delegated with Roger Williams to proceed to England 
for the purpose of obtaining the first charter for this 
Colony, where he remained tw^elve years and returned 
with their second charter in 1663. From this it ap- 
pears that Mr. Clark bore some part with Mr. Wiliams 
in the establishment of the polity of the government. 
His character as a christian was unspotted, " as a 
Divine he was among the first who publicly avowed 
that Jesus Christ alone is King in his own kingdom." 

This Church has enjoyed the labors of other eminent 
men, and been favored with precious revivals. This 
church is well endowed by bequests of Dr. Clark and 
Governor Lyndon. Its number in 1813 was two hun- 
dred and fifty. 

The second church of Newport was formed in 1656 
of twenty one persons who seceded from the first on 
account of some diversity of opinion. It appears how- 
ever to have been overruled for good, and the church 
has enjoyed the ministry of some very elficient men, 
with a considerable amount of prosperity. In 1832 it 
was under the pastoral charge of J. O. Choules and 
numbered three hundred and twenty-two members. 

In this town the first Sabbatarian or seventh day 
Baptist church was formed in 1671. A fourth churcl^ 
was formed in 1788 whose number in 1813 was seven- 

( 125) 

ty -five. I find no mention of either of these churches 
in Allen's Register for 1833 exce'[)t the second. We 
cannot notice the remaining churches in this state, 
amounting in 1832 according to Allen's Register to 
about twenty. 

The first associatien regularly formed was in War- 
ren, (from which it took its name,) in 1767, with only 
four churches; the delegates from six other churches 
being present but not feeling themselves prepared to 
engage in the undertaking. Three ministers were 
present from the Philadelphia association with a letter, 
encouraging the measure. This body has held an im- 
portant station in the Baptist community ; having for 
a number of years embraced a large circle of churches 
in Rhode Island and the neighboring states. It has 
exerted a most salutary influence, being engaged 
heartily in whatever measures would promote the 
cause of truth among the churches, and tiie cause of 
religious freedom throughout the land. After up- 
wards of forty years union the body had swelled to 
such a size thai, it was deemed advisable to divide 
and a new one was formed called the Boston. 

Having hinted already at the calumnies of which 
the people of Rhode Island have been the subjects, we 
only say in dismissing the state from our considera- 
tion that it is very certain that its religious condition 
will not suflfer by comparison with others, or if the 
evils charged upon it do exist, they are not owing to 
the Baptists as they have always been in the minor- 
ity of the whole professing population, though more 
numerous than any other denomination. 


( 126 ) 


This State began to be settled in 1633, but nobap» 
lists are known in its history until 1705, when Mr. 
Wightman planted a church in Groten of which he 
became Pastor. This remained the only church for 
about twenty years, when another was gathered in the 
township of New London, which on account of the 
fall and deposition of their minister soon became ex- 
tinct. In 1729 a few persons at Saybrook embraced 
Baptist sentiments, but no church was gathered there 
until fifteen years after. In 1731 some Pedo baptists 
in Wallingford, by reading "Delaune's Plea" &c. 
became convinced of their error, were baptized and 
united with the church at New London, that usually 
met for worship in their own town where a church 
was soon afterwards established. 

The progress of the Baptists was at first very slow 
as they had to stem the torrent of deep rooted preju- 
dices. The host of prejudices was however but a 
shadow compared with the religious laws that the 
Connecticut rulers had enacted to preserve the esta- 
blishment. But v;hen God works, how vain is man's 
opposition and the rage of rulers. In the celebrated 
New Light Stir the way was prepared for the progress 
of the truth, and in all those places where its influence 
wae felt, there Baptist principles prevailed, and many 

( 127 ) 

who began upon Pedo baptist brought up upon the 
Baptist plan. 

In 1784 the number of churches Had arisen to about 
thirty, with about twenty ministers. From this time 
the increase was more rapid, so that in 1795 there were 
sixty churches, about forty ministers, and more than 
three thousand five hundred communicants. After 
this last date they continued to prosper, though as 
very many emigrated to the new states the clear gain 
does not appear so great. In 1812, there were sixty- 
seven churches, and nearly six thousand members; in 
1832 there were ninety-two churches, and ten thou- 
sand members. 

The religious laws of this state are much like those 
of Massachusetts, the Pedo baptist or Congregational 
party being taken under legal patronage in early times. 
Every thing in religion was to be done according fe 
law. The first certificate law was passed in 1729 in 
favor of the Quakers, providing for their exemption 
from ministerial taxes &c. upon producing a writing 
certifying their membership and attendance on wor- 
ship. In the autumn of that year a similar law was 
passed in favor of the Baptists, which appears to have 
been obtained through the assistance of the Rhode 
Isknd brethren, as the memorial to the Legislature 
in its favor was signed by eighteen persons, sixteen 
of whom were of that state, and a certificate of con- 
currence with the memorial was appended, signed by 
the Governor and two elders. This law continued 
ic force for sixty-two years, the Quakers and Baptists 


being the only sects exempted until about 1765, when 
the same privileges were granted to all, provided they 
ordinarily attended meeting in their respective So- 
cieties and paid their due proportions &c. 

A number of Baptists in Stafford had united with 
the church in Wiilington, and as the distance was 
great and the way rough they could not attend as often 
as they wislied or the law required. Those of the 
establishment, to pay the expense of a new meeting- 
house taxed them all, and disposed of their goods at 
public sale. Legal redress was sought; the affair 
went through two courts; and in the second while 
the counsel of our brethren plead that they were bap- 
tists sentimentally J practically and legally^ the op- 
posite counsel continued his plea against them be- 
cause they did not ordinarily attend their own meet- 
ing. While the lawyers were disputing, the Judge 
who was an Episcopalian, inquired how long a man 
who was a Baptist, practically, sentimentally, and le- 
gally must stay at home to become a Presbyterian. 
His Honoris logic produced the desired effect, and 
the Baptists obtained the case. 

In May 1791 a law was passed, requiring the cer- 
tificate 10 be signed by two magistrates before it 
could become effectual. This set the dissenters in 
motion, and memorials and remonstrances poured in 
from all quarters, so that the act was repealed in Oc- 
tober and the present certificate law adopted. This 
law is perhaps as good as such a thiiiii- can be, as a 
dissenter has nothing to do under it but write his own 

( 129 ) 

certificate and he becomes of another sect. No nian 
however can be neutral; unless he gives a certificate 
he is known and dealt with as a Presbyterian or Con- 

To this law our brethren object, principally because 
it presupposes a subordination and obliges them in 
Leland's phraseology, to lower thdr peek to the Na- 
tional Ship. In one of the petitions of the Baptists 
dated 1803 is this clause. *' We are frequently told 
that giving a certificate is a mere trife ; if it be so, 
we would desire that the law would not intermeddle 
with such a trifling business, or that those, who con- 
sider it a mere trifle, may be the persons to do this 
trifle themselves, and not the dissenters, who consider 
it in a far difl?'eren( point of light." Some will not 
give a certificate, and very few meet with trouble at 
present whether they do or not, the Pedo baptists 
having found that to push their measures is to affect 
their own cause injuriously. 


The first appearance of Baptists in this great state, 
was in the city of New York; the second on Long 
Island, and the third in Dutchess county. 

When the Baptists began to preach in the city is 
not known precisely, but it must have been previous 
to 1669, as in that year Mr. Wickenden of Rhode 
Island died, who was at one tim.e imprisoned there 


for four months. From (his time we hear nothing of 
Baptists here, until 1712, when Mr. Wightman of 
Groton entered the place and visited it for about two 
years. His preaching place was the house of a Mr. 
Nicholas Eyres who with six other men and five wo- 
men were hopefully converted. Some time in 1714 
Mr. Wightman baptized the five women in the night, 
while the men stood by. The words " no man doeth 
any thing in secret, when he himself seeketh to be 
known openly,*' arrested Mr. Eyres' mind and accor« 
dingly he and the other men put off their baptism un- 
til morning, when he waited on the Governor (Burnet) 
and solicited protection, which the Governor promis- 
edi He was faithful to his promise and in company 
with many of the gentry came to the water side and 
the rite was performed in peace. These twelve per- 
sons called Mr. Eyres to preach for them; under his 
ministry the audience increased so much that a pri- 
vate house would not hold them and a lot was pur- 
chased and a house built upon it in 1728. The 
church was constituted in 1724, and existed about 
eight years when it was dissolved. 

The present church, (First or Gold street) origina- 
ted through the instrumentality of Mr. Jeremiah 
Dodge, a member of the church at Fishkill, who set- 
tled in New York in 1745 and opened a meeting for 
readmg, praying and singing, to which some mem- 
bers of the church mentioned above resorted. They 
were favored with preaching, and after various changes 
their number had reached twenty-seven who iiaving 

( 131 ) 

been during this period connected with the church 
at Scotch-Plains (N. J.) applied tor dismission, and 
were constituted a regular church on the 19th June 
1762. This Church has enjoyed an able ministry, and 
sent out various branches. Its number in 1832 was 
four hundred and thirteen, under the pastoral charge 
of Mr. William Parkinson. 

As both the city and state contain such a multitude 
cf churches, we cannot do more than notice two or 
three particularly. The Fayette now Oliver street 
has shared so largely the favor of the Lord, and is now 
so prominent in the history of the Baptists for charity 
and zeal, and fruitfulness, that we must refer to its 
origin and progress. It arose out of a division of the 
Bethel, (formed 1770,) both parties claiming the name 
of second until 1802, when they mutaliy agreed to 
take the names they now bear. Their first pastor 
was Benjamin Montange, and his successor Mr. John 
Williams a native of South Wales, who landed in 
New York in 1795. Under his ministry former dif- 
ficulties were adjusted and the church greatly flourish- 
ed. Before his death their present pastor S. H. 
Cone was associated with him in the Ministry of the 
church. It contained seven hundred and forty-four 
members in 1832, since which period it has sent out 
its branches through the city, which it is hoped will 
never disgrace their origin.* It aflfords a very liberal 

*In 1832 a colony of forty-three members was sent out 
from this church and constituted a church on the 17th 
December. Their pastor isW. R. Williams, son of Mr. 
John Williams, and formerly a Lawyer. 

( 132 ) 

support to its pastor and contributes annually not lesg 
than three thousand dollars to the various institutions 
of benevolence. 

The Mulberry street church was originated under 
peculiar circumstances, and we therefore notice it 
here. T^eir present Pastor Mr. Archibald Maclay 
arrived in New York from Scotland in 1805. He was 
then an Independent, commenced his labors as such 
and collected in a few months a small church, which 
increased in three years to a very affectionate band of 
forty. Mr. M. after a thorough investigation of the 
subject was led to embrace the sentiments of the 
Baptists, and was baptized by Mr. Williams in De- 
cember 1808. Four days after seventeen more of the 
church were baptized. On the third Lord's day in 
February following, these eighteen were formed into 
a Baptist Church. From that period they have ob- 
served the Lord's supper every Lord's day. Another 
peculiarity of this church is the rejection of creeds 
and covenants, which, though they will not condemn 
those who have them, they have never used. 

*• As a church tliey have enjoyed much prosperity, 
having received since their organization, including 
the original members, six hundred and sixty-two by 
baptism and one hundred and seventy-four by letter, 
making in all three hundred and thirty-six. Their 
number at present (1832) is about three hundred 
and fifty.*' 

The first Sunday School it is believed in New York, 
was established by two members of this church soon 

( 133 ) 

after its organizaiion. Both are now useful preachers 
of the gospel. The school is now very large and un- 
der the best regulation perhaps of any in the country. 
Associations were formed in this state in 1791; 
these have become quite numerous and many of them 
very efficient. The state contains more churches 
and members than any in the Union. According to 
Benedict there were in 1812 between two and three 
hundred churches, and probably over sixteen thousand 
members. In 183:^ the state contained thirty-two as- 
sociations, six hundred and five churches, and sixty 
thousand communicants. Nearly or quite eight thou- 
sand were baptized during the associational year. 


Among the first settlers of this state were some 
Baptists who came from New York, New England, &c. 
About 1683 a company of Baptists from Ireland ar- 
rived at Amboy, and proceeded thence to the interior 
parts. In 1733 some Tunker Baptists from Holland 
settled in Amwell, Hunterdon County, and in 1734 
the Rogerene Baptists took up their residence near 
Schooly Mountain, Morris County. 

This state has always contained some very respec- 
table churches, which have been supplied by minis- 
ters of eminence, not only those who were emigrants, 
but luch also as were born in the country and raised 

( 134 ) 

up in the churches. And besides these, a number 
rennoved to other parts of the vineyard and labored 
honorably and successfully. 

The oldest church in the state is at Middletown, 
Monmouth County, and was constituted in 1688 with 
eighteen naembers. For a period of twenty-four years 
their history is unknown. In 1711 some difficulties 
arose and parties were formed, one of which ex- 
cluded the other and imposed silence on two minis^ 
ters. The matter was referred to a council in May 
1713, whose advice to thera was "to bury their pro- 
ceedings in oblivion and erase the record of them;" 
accordingly four leaves are torn out of the church 
book. "To continue the silence imposed upon the 
brethren the proceeding year: to sign a covenant re- 
lative to their future conduct, &c." Forty two did sign 
the covenant and twenty-six refused, and the first 
were then declared to be the church; most of the others 
came in afterwards, the church proceeded in harmony 
and subsequently enjoyed the ministry of faithful men. 
Its number in 1812 was one hundred and ihirty-two. 

The church of Piscataway is next in point of age 
having been constituted in the spring of 1689 of six 
men.* It is thought that some of these were from 
Piscataqua in Maine, as there were a number of bap- 
tists in that place at this time, and it also appears that 
this part of Jersey was written New Piscataqua in 

* The early records of this church and of that at Middle^ 
town present the names of the male members only. 

( 135 ) 

their town book. The records of the church were 
destroyed during the revolutionary war. 

The next in order is the church of Cohansey, form- 
ed in 1690, in part, of the company of Irish Baptists 
before mentioned. The church at Tiperary, Ireland, 
was, when Mr. Benedict wrote, still extant and known 
by the name of Cloughketin. 

The churches in this state were for about a hundred 
years connected with the Philadelphia association. 
When the one at New York was formed, those near 
that city united with it. In 1811 the New Jersey- 
association was organized and more recently the 
Central and Sussex, composed altogether of churches 
in the state. Others however are connected with the 
Central Union, Pa. and the New York, Hudson river, 
and Warwick, N. Y. 

In 1792 the number of churches in the state was 
twenty-three, in 1813 thirty. six churches, with two 
thousand eight hundred and sixty. three members, and 
in 1S33 there were sixty-one churches, and three thou- 
sand nine hundred and eighty. one members. It af- 
fords us pleasure to say that, the brethren in this little 
state are generally engaged heartily and efficiently in 
the cause of Missions, Education, (kc. 


The first Baptist Church formed in this Common- 
wealth was at Cold Spring, Bucks County, between 

(136 ) 

Bristol and Trenton, in 1684, by Thomas Dungan, on- 
ly three years after William Penn obtained his char- 
ter from Charles II. It was however broken up in 

The oldest church new in existence is the Penne- 
pek, or Lower Dublin, situated about ten miles from 
Philadelphia. It was organized in 1688 with twelve 
members. Soon after the few Baptists in this pro- 
vince and West Jersey united with them. They were 
all one church with Pennepek the centre of union, 
where as far as practicable they all met to celebrate 
the Lord's supper, though for the sake of distant 
members the ordinance was administered quarterly 
at Burlington, Cohansey, Chester and Philadelphia. 
This practice was continued for several years, or un- 
til the brethren in these places had gained sufficient 
strength to establish distinct churches. This church 
like all others has at different times experienced sore 
trials and some divisions, though its general course 
has been prosperous. 

Its first minister was Mr. Elias Keach, son of the 
famous Benjamin Keach of London. He came to this 
country about the year 1686, a wild youth, dressing 
in black and wearing a band in order to pass for a 
minister. Many resorted to hear the young London 
Divine. He succeeded very well until he had ad- 
vanced considerably in his sermon, when he sudden- 
ly stopped. The audience supposed he had been 
seized with some disorder, but on inquiry received 
from him a trembling confession of the imposture. His 

( 137 ) 

distress was pungent but ended happily, for from this 
period he dated his conversion. He repaired to Mr. 
Dungan and was ba^jtized : he then came to Pennepek 
in 1687 a^id settled the church. He travelled consi- 
derably in Pennsylvania and Jersey, preaching with 
acceptance and much success, and may be considered 
the Chief Apostle of the Baptists in those parts. 
In 1692 he went with his family to England and be- 
came a famous and successful minister in London. 

The church has enjoyed a succession of able min- 
isters, a large proportion of whom were from Wales. 
Their last regular pastor was David Jones, an estima- 
ble man, whose departure is still sensibly felt by the 
church. Since his death the church has been supplied 
by various ministers, and at present by Nathan 
Stetson, a young brother, recently ordained in the 
Great Valley. He was brought to the knowledge of 
the truth whilst engaged in the study of the law in 
West Chester, during a gracious season enjoyed there 
in November, 1833. 

The firsi church of Philadelphia is, Mr. Benedict 
says, "in reality as old as Pennepek and its history 
will lead us almost to the founding of the city." In 
1686, one John Holmes, a Baptist, settled in the neigh- 
borhood and being a man of property and learning he 
became a magistrate, in which capacity he was favor- 
ed with a singular opportunity of carrying out the 
principles of religious liberty held by the Baptists.* 

* See the particulars in the account of the Keithian 


( 138 ) 

By the year 1608 the number amounted to but nine, 
who coalesced iito a church for the communion of 
saints. From that period until 1746, they increased 
by emigration and the occasional labors of several 
ministers to the number of fifty-six. In consequence 
of a question agitated by the brethren which was 
" whether Philadelphia was not a branch of Penne- 
pek, and whether the latter had not a right to part of 
the legacies bestowed on the former," the brethren for 
fear the design of their benefactors should be frustrat- 
ed were formally constituted on the 15th May, 1746. 

The place where they first met was at a house in 
Barbadoes lot at the corner of Chesnut and Second 
streets. In this house (which had been occupied by 
the Barbadoes company as a store house) the Baptists 
and Presbyterians met whenever a minister was in 
town, for neither had any stated pastor; but when 
Jedediah Andrews came to the latter, the Baptists 
were in a manner driven away. The bretliren re- 
monstrated with the Presbyterians for this unkind 
conduct, but in vain; They next held their meetings 
at a place near the drawbridge, known by the name of 
Anthony Morris' brew house where they continued to 
meet until March 1707, when by the iavitation of the 
Keithians they removed to their place of worship in 
Second street where they still meet. The Keithian 
house of worship v/as a small frame building erected 
in 1692, which the Baptists took down in 1713 and on 
the same spot raised a neat brick building forty- 
two feet by thirty. In 1762 this was taken down and 

( 139 ) 

another, sixty-one by forty-two feet in dimensions, 
erected in its stead, which in 1808 was enlarged to 
sixty-one by seventy-five feet. It has very recently un- 
dergone a thorough alteration in the interior so as to 
comport with modern architecture, and also with con- 

The ministers which this church has had since 1746 
may be named here ; Jenkin Jones, Ebenezer Kin- 
nersley,* Morgan Edwards, William Rogers, Thomag 
Ustick, William Staughton, Henry Holcombe, and 
William T. Brantly tiieir present pastor. 

This church possesses very ample endowments, 
received by legacy from different individuals. It has 
sent out various branches through the city, and many 
of its members by removal to other places have built 
up the Baptist cause in the state and elsewhere. The 
number of members in 1813 was four hundred and 
five, in 1832, five hundred and fifty-two, and in 1834, 
six hundred and thirty-five. 

In 1824 soon after the death of Mr. Holcombe a 
division took place in this church and a number with- 
drew and worshipped together under the name of the 
First Baptist church of Philadelphia They were 
formally excluded by the majority and the subject be- 
came one of painful agitation which resulted in law 

* In 1754 he was appointed a Professor in the College 
of Philadelphia. He was a companion of Dr. Franklin in 
philosophical researches. He declined the office of the 
ministry before, but continued a firm Baptist until his 
death, although it has been asserted that he joined the 
Episcopal church. 

( 140 ) 

suits and their usual concomitants. Both parties 
obtained charters under the title of First Baptist 
church and continued their hostilities until recently 
when matters were so adjusted that it is hoped all 
hard feelings will soon cease to exist. The seceding 
brethren purchased a lot in Spruce near Fifth street 
on which they erected a commodious and convenient 
house. They were received into the Philadelphia 
association as the First Baptist church, though called 
in their last minutes the Spruce street. They have 
enjoyed considerable prosperity since the completion 
of. their house their number being in 1832, one hun- 
dred and eighty-two, and in 1835, one hundred and 
ninety-six. For some time previous to the last men- 
tioned date they were destitute of a pastor. Rufus 
Babcock, formerly President of Waterville College, 
has recently taken charge of the church. 

The second church (Northern Liberties) was con- 
stituted in 1803 out of twenty members from the 
church in Second street. Its first minister was Wil- 
liam White, who by his conduct gave the church much 
trouble. They afterwards enjoyed the labors of James 
M'Laughlin, and now have for their pastor Thomas 
J. Kitts. They numbered in 1835, four hundred and 
forty-seven members. 

The third church, (Southwark,) was constituted of 
thirty members mostly from the First, in August, 
1809. John P. Peck worth one of the constituents 
was their first pastor, next to him was William E. 
Aihton, who by a mysterious Providence has been 

( 141 ) 

recentl3' disabled from performing ministerial duties. 
Philander D. Gillett is now their pastor. Number 
in 1835, two hundred and sixty-three. 

The Sansom street church also originated from the 
ancient community in Second street. " The constitu- 
ents were ninety-one, and were recognized as a dis- 
tinct church in January, 1811. Dr. Staughton be- 
came their Pastor soon after, and under his eloquent 
ministry the church enjoyed a large share of prosperi- 
ty, marred, however by a cumbrous debt incurred in 
the erection of a spacious and elegant house. After 
him was John L. Dagg who continued in the pastoral 
charge until within a little more than a year past 
when physical inability obliged him to resign, much 
to the grief of his devoted brethren and a very large 
portion of the Baptist community. The present 
number of the church is nearly five hundred; Abra- 
ham D. Gillett is their pastor. 

The New Market street church after several pain- 
ful vicissitudes occasioned by the conduct of its min- 
isters, has latterly enjoyed great prosperity under the 
ministry of Joseph H. Kennard, and numbers at pre- 
sent nearly six hundred members. 

To these churches we add the names of the Cen- 
tral, North 7th street, Mariners, and Moyamensing. 
There are besides' two African churches in the city. 

In the neighborhood of the city are the following 
ancient churches ; Great Valley, Brandywine, Mont- 
gomery, Southampton, Vincent, New Britain, Hill- 
town, Marcus Hook and Roxborough. Someof theso 

( 142) 

churches have been prosperous and efficient, especi- 
ally the first, under the charge of Leonard Fletcher, 
who has baptized several hundreds, and the Vincent, 
under the pastoral care of the venerable Charles Moore, 
who in his declining years has been permitted to lead 
many into the baptismal stream, and to see a new 
vine planted within four miles, called Windsor, con- 
stituted in 1833 and now consisting of about one 
hundred and fifty members under the care of Josiah 

In other parts of the state are some churches which 
have existed a number of years, the oldest of which 
is at Uniontown, organized in 1770 under the min- 
istry of John Sutton, and then called Great Bethel. 
William Brownfield is its present pastor. 

George's Creek church ie Fayette County was con- 
stituted in 1790, and is the largest church in Western 
Pennsylvania, numbering nearly if not quite three 
hundred members, at present under the ministry of 
B. Alien. The venerable John Patton their former 
pastor, I believe is still living among them. 

We can but name the churches of Beulah, Shamo- 
kin, Chemung, Forks of Vough, Loyalhanna, Turkey 
Foot, and Merrittstown all constituted before the 
year 1800. From this date the churches increased 
slowly until within about five years since, when a 
stronger impulse was given to the Baptist cause in the 
state, so that we safely assert that there have been 
more churches raised up and more persons baptized 
in that time than had been during at least the prece* 


ding ten years. Should the materials come to hand in 
time, a list of the churches in the state with their 
respective numbers will be inserted in this volume. 

As we have already seen, the Philadelphia associa= 
tion is the oldest in America, being organized in 1707. 
It has been all along an efficient body. In former 
times " its ministers w^ere sent for, and travelled to 
assist in regulating churches in trouble, in the lower 
parts of Virginia and even to the Carolinas. Its in- 
fluence was exerted with good effect among the turbu* 
lent churchmen of Virginia, and also among the fleec- 
ing Pedo baptists of New England." In it originated 
the design for the Rhode Island College, and by it 
have been projected many other plans for the welfare 
of the Baptist interest in America." 

The Redstone association was formed in 1776, the 
Chemung in 1796. There are also the Beaver, Abing- 
ton, Northumberland, Susquehanna, Bridgewater, 
French Creek and Juniata, which all existed prior to 
the year 1830. In 1831, the Centre association wag 
formed with three churches v/ho seceded from the 
Juniata, on account of its opposition to Missionary 
and other efforts. It was found that nearly all the 
additions made to the churches in the Juniata associa-^ 
tion were made to those three churches, and they have 
since been much enlarged. The association has since 
had an accession of seven Churches ; three of these 
had also been connected with the old body, v/hich we 
fear is withering away, having at its last meeting for 
some reason resolved to print no minitef. 

( i44) 

The Central Union association was formed in Phii= 
adelphia in July, 1832. Its proposed object is to pro- 
mote the cause of true religion wiihin its several 
churches, by domestic missions, the education of pious 
young men for the ministry, aiding weak churches to 
support their ministers, and by other benevolent plans. 
It also proposes to extend its regard to all the benev- 
olent objects of Christians. The meetings of the 
body are intended to be devotional and are designed 
to promote the interests of the churches with which 
they may be held. Two associations have since been 
formed after this model, the Sussex, New Jersey, and 
the Salem Union, Virginia. 

The Monongahela association was formed in Sep- 
tember 1832. It originated out of the Redstone, under 
circumstances somewhat similar to those which gave 
rise to the Centre. This body contains some efficient 
ministers and other members, and it is hoped will aid 
the Baptist interest in that region very essentially. 

In a word the Baptists of Pennsylvania appear to 
be moving, and we entertain a hope that their inter- 
ests will speedily rise, so that every county will have 
churches planted in it. The Baptists in the state 
numbered in 1812, sixty-two churches and a little 
over four thousand members, in 1832, thirteen asso- 
ciations, one hundred and seventy-five churches, and 
over eleven thousand communicants. There were no 
doubt as many baptized in the years 1832-3-4, as all 
'M churches contained in 1812* 



This state is small, containing but three countieSj 
New Castle, Kent and Sussex. In the first of these 
there was a Baptist Society as early as 1703. It was 
called the Welsh Tract Church, from a large tract of 
land of the same name surrounding the meeting-house. 
The church had its beginning in Wales, where it was 
constituted in 1701, and maybe styled a "church 
emigrant." The brethren upon their arrival at Phil- 
adelphia went to Pennepek where they remained 
about one year and a half, their church increasing in 
that period from sixteen to thirty-seven. They then 
took up land from Messrs. Evans, Davis and Willis, 
(who had purchased it of William Penn to the amount 
of thirty thousand acres) in New Castle county, and 
removed thither in 1703 and built a place of worship. 
In removing to this place they left some of the bre- 
thren who had come from Wales at Pennepek, and" 
took with them some of the Pennepek members. 
This occasioned some difficulty among them, as they 
were not agreed respecting the laying on of hands 
and some other particulars. The difficulty was ad- 
justed finally to the satisfaction of the original mem- 
bers, who appear to have been strenuously in favor of 
the eentiments occasioning the dispute. 

( 146 ) 

This church was supplied by great and good msn 
of Welsh extraction for about seventy years. Their 
names were Thomas Griffith, Elisha Thomas, Enoch 
Morgan, Owen Thomas and David Davis. After these 
were John Sutton, John Boggs, Gideon Ferrell, S^ 
Woolford, Samuel Trott and Mr. Robinson their pre- 
sent pastor. 

Duck Creek, or Brynsion (Mount Sion,) was con- 
stituted in November 1781, with thirty members. In 
1785 the church at Wilmington was formed. It 
seems to owe its existence in a great measure to Mr. 
Thomas Ainger who settled in the place in the spring 
of 1783. He was himself a Presbyterian, and his 
wife a Baptist. He constantly maintained family 
worship without any apparent good effect, until one 
Lord's day evening when he felt a strong impulse to 
comment upon a portion of scripture, (20 Rev. parti= 
cularly the 12 v.) which he did to the evident awak- 
ening of some of his family. In May, 1784, he became 
a Baptist, in 1786 commenced preaching, and in 1788 
was ordained pastor of the church, in which office he 
continued until his death which was in 1797. After 
this event the church remained in a measure destitute 
for about five years when Daniel Dodge (now at New- 
ark N. J.) was settled as pastor. Under his ministry 
the church prospered, and considerably over a hundred 
persons had been baptized by him in 1813. The 
church has been for several years, and is now, sup- 
plied by John P. Peckworth. In August of last year 
a new church was formed with thirteen members who 

( 147 ) 

were dismissed for the purpose from the old church- 
The Baptist interest in this state has been for some 
time upon the decline, and as the writer supposes, in 
consequence of their hostility to the efforts made by 
their brethren in other places. In 1812 there were 
six churches associated, and four hundred and eighty 
members, in 1832 six churches, and only three hun- 
dred and twenty-eight members. 


This state, as before mentioned, was settled first by 
Roman Catholics who gave toleration to all religious 
sects. About the year 1709 one Henry Sator a Bap- 
tist, who came from England settled in the northern 
part of the state near Chesnut Ridge. By his invita- 
tion, Baptist ministers occasionally preached at his 
house, and through their labors a church was constitut- 
ed of fifty-seven members in 1743. This was a 
General Baptist church, out of which grew the first of 
Particular Baptists called originally Winter Run, now 
Harford, and constituted in 1754. This church has 
been the mother of a number of others, among which 
are First Baltimore, Taneytown, Gunpowder and 

About 1770 Richard Major, and William and Dan- 
iel Fristoe of Virginia, began to preach in the Soulh 
West borders of the state with considerable success. 

( 148) 

Many were baptized, who united with the churches 
in Virginia belonging to the Ketocton association. 

The first church in Baltimore was constituted in 
1785 with eleven members, among whom was Lewis 
Richards who became its pastor and continued in that 
office a number of years. Successor to hira was 
Edmund J. Reis. He was succeeded by John Fin- 
lay a man of popular talents but'whose views of doc- 
trine have become erroneous. The church has since 
the removal of Mr. Finlay been prosperous. Pro- 
tracted meetings have been held and a number have 
been added to the church, at present under the charge 
ofS. P. Hill. 

The second church of Baltimore is of an origin 
somewhat singular. " In 1794 three families of us, 
viz: John Healey and wife, Matthew Hulseand wife, 
and William Lynes and wife all members of the Bap- 
tist church in Leicester, England, which was called 
the New Connection, determined to emigrate to the 
United States and to remain together as a religious 
community." They arrived in Baltimore in the spring 
of 1795 and were kindly treated by Dr. Bend of the 
Episcopal church, who gave them the use of a house 
to meet inforthree weeks in a month rent free. They 
began to travel in church capacity in June 1797 and 
in that year built a brick meeting-house twenty-seven 
by forty feet. This house %-as sold in 1811, and 
their present house at Fell's Point was erected, which 
i3 forty feet by fifty. The substance of this account 

( 149 } 

.s taken from a letter from Mr. Healey, (the pastor 
of the church,) to I. M. Allen, in 1832. 

The Ebenezer church was formed in 1821 of twen- 
ty-seven persons who left the First Church on account 
of the alleged departure of Mr. Finlay from the truth. 
The church being unable to pay the debt incurred in 
the erection of their meeting-house were obliged te 
suffer its sale. It has been purchased by two brethren, 
by the name of Crane, merchants of Richmond, Virgi- 
nia, one of whom has removed to Baltimore for the pur- 
pose of supporting an interest which will engage in 
the benevolent efforts of the day. Success has already 
measurably attended the laudable act of those brethren. 

There are two associations in this state; the Balti- 
more and Salisbury, the first constituted in 1792 and 
the latter in 178S. In 1812 there were in these bodies 
twenty-three churches, and over one thousand two 
hundred communicants, in 1832, thirty-four churches 
and one thousand four hundred and sixty-six members. 


From Allen's Register of 1833 we learn that there 
were in 1832, five churches in the District containing 
in all five hundred and thirty-three communicanti* 
The first church in Washington was formed with gix 
members in 1802. Soon after their organization they 

pyrchased a lot and erected a house upon it lorty-two 

( 150 ) 

feet by thirty-two. In 1807, 0. B. Brown assumed the 
pastoral office which he still maintains. The Second 
Church was formed in 1810, the Central in 1827, and 
theShiloh in 1831. 

The church in Alexandria was organized in 1803 
and for several years enjoyed the labors of Spencer 
H. Cone now of New York but more recently of 
Samuel Cornelius. It numbered in 1832, two hun- 
dred and fortv-two members. 


Virginia forms a very interesting portion of our 
country, as its history presents some of the highest 
names and most signal events in the annals of its ris- 
ing greatness. Nor is it deficient in interest to the 
Baptists of America, as it has been the theatre of the 
sore trials of our fathers, of marvellous displays of 
grace, and until lately has contained the largest num- 
ber of the denomination of all the States, exceeded 
now by New York only. 

We cannot learn that any of the original settlers 
were Baptists, nor are there accounts of any for more 
than a century after its settlement. The following 
account of their origin is believed by Mr. Benedict 
to be the most correct that can now be obtained. 

" In consequence of letters from Virginia, Robert 
Nwdin^nd Thomas White were ordained in London 

( isi ) 

in May, 1714, and soon sailed for Virginia. But 
White died by the way, and Nordin arrived in Vir* 
ginia and gathered a church at a place called Burlefj 
in the County of the Isle of Wight. There were, 
probably, a number of Baptists in this place by re- 
quest of whom these brethren were ordained, but how 
many there were or how long they had resided in the 
place cannot be told." Mr. Nordin died in 1725. 
In 1727, Casper Mintz and Richard Jones came from 
England and settled with the church, Jones as their 
pastor. In 1729 there appears to have been besides- 
the church at Burley, another in the county of Surry. 

How long these churches continued in existence is 
not known. According to Morgan Edwards' account 
the first remained where it was established between 
forty and fifty years, when it was broken up, partly 
by sickness and partly by removals to North Carolina 
where they, in ten years became sixteen churches. 
It does not appear that they suffered any persecution 
or civil embarrassments from the tiraci of their settle- 
ment to that of their dispersion. They probably ob- 
tained licenses for their assemblies according to the 
act of toleration. 

The next appearance of Baptists was in the counties 
of Berkley, Rockingham and Loudon. Between the 
years 1743 and 1756 three churches were gathered in 
these counties by the names of Opeckon, Smith's 
Creek, and Ketoeton. The oldest was Opeckon, gath- 
ered in 1743, the other two were constituted in 1756. 

la 1760 David Thomas a very eminent preacher 

( 152 ) 

removed from Pennsylvania into Virginia and com- 
menced a successful ministry. His first stand was 
with or in the neighborhood of the Opeckon church, 
butin 1762 he removed to the county of Fauquier and 
became the pastor of the Broad Run church which 
was gathered soon after his removal to that place. 
This church originated in the following manner. A 
short time previous to the coming of Mr. Thomas 
two men in this region became concerned about their 
souls and were convinced of the vitality and necessity 
of religion. They heard of the Baptists (New Lights 
as some called them) in Berkley county and set out 
in search of them. After travelling about sixty miles 
over a rough and mountainous road, they found them 
and by their preaching and conversation were enlight- 
ened and comforted, and v/ere so happy as lo find how 
a sinner weary and heavy ladden might find rest. The 
name of one was Peter Cornwell, who lived to a good 
old age and for his piety received the appellation of 
''Saint Peter." They afterwards revisited Berkley 
and were baptized. In this visit they met with Mr. 
Thomas, who by their invitation settled with them 
and became the instrument of diffusing light in that 
region, where before darkness and ignorance had long 
prevailed. The Broad Run Church, in six or eight 
years branched out and became the mother of five or 
six others. 

Before the year 1770 the Baptists were spread over 
Xhe whole country in the Northern'Neck above Fred» 
«sficksburg, Mr. Lunsford a young but extraoidina- 

( 133 ) 

ry preacher directly afterwards carried the gospel 
downwards into the counties below Fredericksburg. 
Messrs. Corbley, Sutton, and Barnet, had raised up 
several churches in the north west counties as early 
as 1775, and in 1777, Mr. Alderson went to Green- 
brier, and in a few years raised up a people there for 
the Lord. Others moved more southward and planted 

A colony of Baptists was formed in North Carolina 
(of which we will speak when we come to that state,) 
by whose ministers the cause was advanced in those 
parts of Virginia adjacent. Mr. Marshall one of the 
ministers, baptized several in his first visits, among 
whom was Button Lane, who shortly after began to 
preach. A revival succeeded and Mr. Marshall at 
one time baptized forty-two persons. In 1764 a church 
was constituted and Mr. Lane became its pastor. 
Soon after this the power of God was effectual in 
the conversion of Samuel Harris, a man of great dis- 
tinction, who upon being honored of God laid aside 
his worldly honors, and became a laborer in the Lord's 

To enter into a detail of the particulars attendant 
upon the growth of the Baptist interest would be 
pleasant, but in this pleasure we cannot indulge, let 
it therefore suffice to say that the churches multiplied 
rapidly, and many worthy ministers were raised up in 
the revivals that took place. It may be proper here 
to say that the Baptists in this state, were divided into 
what were called Separates and Regulars. This d'ln^ 

( 154 ) 

sion was on account of some diversity ofsentimenty 
the Separates retaining among them many who were 
Arminians, and lasted about twenty years without be- 
ing completely healed, though a friendly intercourse 
was occasionally maintained between them. In 1787 
their disputes were compromised, buried and forgot- 
ten. This was effected at a meeting heW at Dover 
meeting-house, Goochland County, between the Gen- 
eral Committee on the part of the Separates, and Del- 
egates from the Ketocton association. We will 
transcribe as a matter of some importance the terms 
of the Union as they were entered on the minutes; 
** The committee appointed to consider the terms 
of Union with our Regular brethren, Reported; That 
they conceive the manner in which the Regular bap- 
tist confession of faith has been received by a former 
association, is the groundwork for such Union." This 
was, that they should retain their liberty with regard 
to the construction of some of its objectionable articles. 
After considerable debate upon having any confes- 
sion of faith the Report was received with the follow- 
ing explanation. " To prevent the Confession of Faith 
from usurping a tyrannical power over the conscience 
of any, we do not mean, that every person is bound to 
the strict observance of every thing therein contained; 
yet that it holds forth the essential truths of the gos- 
pel, and that the doctrine of Salvation by Christ, and 
free and unmerited grace alone, ought to be believed 
by every christian, and maintained by every minister 
©f the gospel. Upon these terms we are united, and 

( 135 ) 

desire that hereafter the names Regular and Separate 
be buried in oblivion; and that from henceforth we 
shall be known by the name of the United Baptist 
Churches, in Virginia." 

This union took place at a time when a revival of 
religion had commenced, which soon burst forth on 
the right and left throughout the state. 

Many of the ministers and churches after this date 
became tinctured so far with Antinomianism as to de-^ 
cline earnest efforts, though many more were filled 
with the spirit of Christian enterprise. The same 
may be said of them now, though there is a redeem-^ 
ing leaven, we trust, at work in the state. Its institu- 
tions wiirbe noticed in the proper chapter, and the per- 
secutions of the brethren when we come to that subject* 

In 1772 there were in Virginia two associations, 
thirty-three churches, and three thousand six hun- 
dred and three members. In 1809 the number had 
increased to fifteen associations, probably to two hun- 
dred and seventy churches, and thirty-one thousand 
and fifty-two members; in 1813, sixteen associationSj 
two hundred and eighty-three churches, and thirty- 
five thousand one hundred and sixty-four communi- 
cants. There were twenty-two associations, four 
hundred and thirty-five churches, fifty-four thousand 
three hundred and two members, and nearly eight 
thousand persons baptized, in 1832, which aggre- 
gate says Mr. Allen, falls below the truth as from 
several associations no returns were received for 
that year. The Dover association is the largest in 

( 1§6 ) 

the United States; it comprised in 1832, fifty-fii^'S 
churches and eighteen thousand members. 


AcGording to Edwards there were individual bap- 
lists in this state as early as 1695, but the first church 
was gathered by Paul Palmer, in 1727, at Perqui- 
mans on Chowan river. About 1742, one William So- 
journer with other brethren from Burley in Virginia, 
settled on Kehukee creek in Halifax County, and 
planted a church which still exists. Most of the first 
Baptists in this state are said to have emigrated from 
the church at Burley. By the year 1752 they had 
increased to sixteen churches. 

The church at Sandy creek, Guilford county (at 
which we hinted under the head of Virginia) was ori- 
ginated by Shubael Stearns and others about 1755. 
He was a native of Boston (Mass.) and was a preacher 
among the Pedo baptist Separates until 1751, when 
he embraced the sentiments of the Baptists, as many 
others did about that time. He had strong faith in 
the immediate teachings of the spirit, and listening to 
the instructions of Heaven as he esteemed them, 
conceived himself called upon to move far to the West- 
ward, to execute an extensive work. He took leave 
"of New England with some of his brethren in 1754, 
and stopped first at Opeckon, Virginia, where was a 

( 157 ) 

Baptist church and where he met with his brother=in» 
law Daniel Marshall, who had recently returned from 
a mission to the Indians and had just become a Bap- 
tist. They joined companies, and settled a while on 
Cacapon, about thirty miles from Winchester, where 
not meeting with his expected success, Stearns felt 
restless. From information received by letter from 
some friends, that the people of North Carolina de- 
sired preachiflg so earnestly that some had gone forty 
miles to hear one sermon, he and his party containing 
sixteen communicants, travelled about two hundred 
miles, took up their permanent residence at Sandy 
Creek, and soon built themsslves a meeting-bouse. 
The inhabitants by whom they were surrounded were 
ignorant of the essential principles of religion, though 
some had the form of godliness. Strange things about 
the new birth, conviction, conversion, <kc., were 
therefore presented by Stearns and his company. 
Their manner of preaching was also novel; being of- 
ten deeply affected themselves, corresponding affec- 
tions were felt by their hearers, which were frequent- 
ly expressed by tears, trembling, screams and excla- 
mations of grief and joy. Many mocked but many 
trembled, and some becoming converts, bowed obe- 
dience to the Redeemer. The church soon increas- 
from sixteen to six hundred and six, and in the course 
of seventeen years spread her branches far and wide, 
so that it became "mother, grandmother and great 
grandmother to forty-two churches from which sprang 
■one hundred and twenty-Sve ministers.'* It became 

( 158) 

however much reduced by dispersions occasioned by 
grievances and oppression. The church at Little 
River was no less remarkable. It was constituted in 
1760, and in three years had increased from five to 
five hundred, and built five meeting-houses, but was 
also reduced by the dispersion of the inhabitants. 
These churches v/ere of the Separate Baptist order. 

The Baptists in this state have never suflfercd much 
by persecution, though there were some attempts 
made to harass them. About 1768, when the brethren 
in Virginia were suffering so severely, a number were 
apprehended belonging to the Kehukee association, 
and about seventy were accused of heresy, blasphemy 
and riots, and brought before the Court. In the course 
of the trial the complaints proved to be ill founded, so 
that the Court appeared ashamed, (as well they might 
be,) of the prosecution, and the violence of their per- 
secuiors returned upon themselves. 

This state contained in 1812, eleven associations, 
about one hundred and eighty churches, and upwards 
of twelve thousand communicants, and in 1833, there 
were nineteen associations, three hundred and thirty- 
two churches, and nineteen thousand communicants. 


The first settlement of Baptists was in 1683. There 
have always been a number of eminent persons em- 
braced in the denomination in this state, though it in- 

( 159 ) 

creased slowly for a considerable time, so that when 
the Charleston association was formed in 1751, there 
were but four churches to compose it. Soon after 
this, Baptist sentiments began to spread and prevail; 
the Separates from North Carolina began a successful 
career, and in 1772 there were twenty churches, and 
about eleven hundred communicants, with upwards of 
forty meeting-houses. 

Of the early settlers a considerable portion were 
Baptists, who came in separate colonies, from England 
and the District of Maine. Those from England came 
with Lord Cardross and a Mr. Blake, whose wife and 
her mother. Lady Axtell, were Baptist members, and 
settled some about Ashley and Cooper Rivers, and 
some about the mouth of the Edisto. Those from 
Maine were led by William Screven, a minister who 
with many of his brethren fled from the persecutions 
of the New England Pedo baptists and settled on 
Cooper river near where Charleston now stands, and 
into which most of them soon removed and formed 
the Charleston church. This church occupies a pro- 
minent place among the southern churches and con^ 
tained in 1832, one thousand one hundred and four 

The Ashley River and Ewhaw churches were 
branches of the Charleston. The first was constituted 
in 1736, but became extinct during the revolutionary 
war. The latter had its foundation laid in 1683, but 
was constituted a distinct church in 1745. In 1832 
their number was eight hundred and thirty-two. 

( 160) 

The Welsh Neck church was formed of brethren 
from the Welsh Tract church, in January 1738, and 
has enjoyed good preaching and some prosperity. It 
numbered in 1832, three hundred and seventy-four. 

The Charleston association was organized in 1752. 
and in 1755 entered into missionary operations. The 
valuable services of Mr. John Gano were obtainedj 
and his ministtations were crowned with remarkable 
success. The subject of education began also at the 
same time to engage their attention^ and a beginning 
was made to obtain the necessary funds. W^e need 
only say that this body has been blessed in its deeds. 

The history of other churches and associations in 
this state would be interesting to the reader, as it 
evinces the zeal and success of the brethren compos- 
ing them and teaches the propriety of despising not 
the day of small things. Upon a review of the whde, 
it appears that, for more than one hundred and thirty 
years the Baptists have held a respectable standing 
in South Carolina, and have rapidly increased within 
at least the half of that period. The great increase 
had been, when Mr. Benedict wrote, in those parts of 
the state which were formerly immoral and irreligious 
to a proverb. 

In 1806, there were in the state about one hundred 
and thirty churches, and upwards of ten thousand 
communicants, and in 1832, two hundred and seven- 
ty-three churches, and twenty-eight thousand four 
hundred and ninety-six members, more than seven 

( 161 ) 

diousand having been baptized within the associa* 
tional year. 

Though the Baptists never suflfered much persecu- 
tion in a legal form in this state, yet a number of 
ministers and others have individually suffered from 
the improper interference of the magistrates, and un- 
authorized and bigoted persons. 


Although among the first settlers of this state in 
1733 were a few Baptists, yet their interest was very 
small for forty years afterwards. In 1772 there were 
but four churches, not large and but newly formed. 
A little before this period the zealous Separates em- 
igrated hither and great success attended their labors, 
30 that many churches soon after sprang up, and the 
Baptist cause had in many instances a rapid preva- 

The oldest church in Georgia is that on Kioka, 
creek, about eighteen miles above Augusta. It was 
gathered by Daniel Marshall (of whom mention has 
been already made,) and organized in 1772. It has 
been an important establishment; the nursery of sev- 
eral useful ministers and the mother of many churches. 
The founder of the the church was remarkable for 
encouraging ministerial gifts anxl often said, "I would 


that all the Lord's servants were prophets." During' 
the war many of the Baptists among others, fled, but 
Mr. Marshall maintained his post and with few ex- 
ceptions held meetings regularly. This church has 
experienced some precious seasons of revival. In 
1787, about one hundred were baptized by Abraham 
Marshall, the worthy son and successor of Daniel. 
The next remarkable ingathering was in 1802, in the 
time of the great revival which prevailed in many 
parts of the state. Two or three camp meetings were 
from necessity held in the neighborhood, in which 
some of the most affecting scenes of joy and sorrow, 
of depression and transport were witnessed. Mr. Mar- 
shall baptized at this time about one hundred more. 
The first association formed in this state is called 
the Georgia, and was organized in 1784. It has 
abounded with ministers who were either nurtured 
within its bounds, or received from other parts. It 
increased very fast for a number of years, containing 
in 1786, ten churches, and in 1790, thirty-four church- 
es, and two thousand eight hundred and seventy-sev- 
en mertibers. In 1796, eighteen churches were dis- 
missed to form the Hephzibah, in two years after 
seven more, which united under the name of the 
Sarepta, and in 1810, another detachment of twenty, 
to form the Oakmulgee association. These associa- 
tions increased and divided also like their parent, 
though she seemed still to grow and thrive, contain- 
ing in 1832, fifty churches and seven thousand one 
huijdred and sixty two members. 

( 163) 

In looking over this state it appears that the Lord 
has prospered the Baptist interest in it to a great ex- 
tent. The church of England was established before 
the war, but dissenters have enjoyed liberty, and Mr, 
Benedict says, " I do not find that any Baptist was 
ever molested in a legal way for preaching the gos- 
pel, excepting Daniel Marshall and he was soon dis- 

The great increase of Baptists has been occasioned 
mostly by the extensive revivals of religion which 
have been experienced in almost every part of the 
state. In addition to the two already mentioned there 
were precious seasons enjoyed in the years 1809 and 
1812, in the last of which there were three thousand 
eight hundred added to four associations. 

Georgia contains more of our denomination toge- 
ther with its adherents than of any other, and more 
than any of the Southern States excepting Virginia, 
Virginia contains the largest association, Dover; 
Georgia the largest church in the United States, the 
first African, Savannah, containing in 1832, twenty- 
seven hundred and ninety-five members. In 1812 
the state contained five associations, one hundred and 
seventy-one churches, and upwards of sixteen thou- 
sand communicants; in 1832 these had increased to 
eighteen associations, five hundred and nine churches, 
and over thirty-eight thousand members. 

( 164 ) 


The first settlements in this state, were made on 
the Holston river and its waters in East Tennessee, 
and here were the first Baptist churches established. 
It is supposed that two churches were gathered here 
before the Indian Vv'ar of 1774, and by that broken up, 
but no precise information exists concerning them. 
The beginning of the churches which had a perma- 
nent standing was in 17S0, when several ministers 
from Virginia and one from North Carolina removed 
into the Holston country while it was a wilderness and 
exposed to the depredations of the Indians. They were 
accompanied by a number of brethren, and soon fol- 
lowed by a number of other ministers and brethren, 
among which were some who had left home in the 
capacity of a church. This is now called Buflfaloe 
Ridge church. 

In 1781, five or six churches had been established, 
which met together in conference twice in a year: 
this conference was soon organized into a temporary 
association placed under the patronage and direction 
of the Sandy Creek association in North Carolina. In 
1786, the churches were erected a distinct body called 
the Holston association, containing then seven church- 
es. In 1802, a division of the body took place for 
5he formation of the Tennessee association. 

The settlements in West Tennessee were not made 

( 16-5 ) 

till those of the Eastern part had become large anc 
flourishing. Tfie first gathered in it was at Sulphur 
Fork in 1786, but it was not till 1790, that the denom- 
ination began to flourish. In 1796, five churches 
were embodied in an association called Mero District, 
which has become the mother of some others, but 
which was dissolved or nearly so in a singular man- 
ner. Some difficulty occurred in the association with a 
minister by name of Dorris, against whom charges of 
a criminal kind were made but could not be fully sub- 
stantiated. The majority would have been glad to 
dismiss him and his church, but he seemed as deter- 
mined to maintain his seat, the association therefore 
in 1803, resorted to the singular expedient of dissolv- 
ing their body and forming a new one into which 
they would not receive him. The new association 
thus formed was called Cumberland. Three churches 
besides the one to which Dorris belonged, continued 
to meet under the former name, but Mr. Benedict 
says, it never prospered orincreased, and the name I do 
not find at all in Allen's Register for 1833. 

Tennessee has shared largely in revivals, and the 
Baptist interest has been considerably promoted and 
enlarged, and though there are many now opposed, 
yet the churches are taking a more decided stand in 
favor of religious eflx)rt. A more enlightened and 
efficient ministry is beginning to be enjoyed, and the 
efforts of the A. B. Home Mission Society are 
sensibly felt, so that the hope may be entertained 
that the denomination will flourish extensively. 

( 166 ) 

The number of churches in 1611 was upwards of 
one hundred and fifty, and the communicants nearly 
twelve thousand. In 1832 there were twenty asso- 
ciations, four hundred and thirteen churches, and 
more than twentv thousand members. 


About the year 1799, some Baptist ministers visited 
Kentucky, among them John Taylor, and Lewis Luns- 
ford, called the wonderful boy. They found a few 
brethren scattered through the settlements, to whom 
they preached. About 1781, some preachers and 
many members began to settle in the State, so that as 
early as 1785, three associations were organized. In 
some instances the baptist emigrants were formed into 
churches previous to their leaving Virginia, and 
while on the way through a dreary country and ex- 
posed to the assaults of the Indians, might be," like 
the children of Israel, styled the church in the wilder- 
ness." By rapid emigration Kentucky soon abound- 
ed with Baptists. 

The Elkhorn association was formed in 1785, and 
for a considerable length of time enjoyed a large 
amount of prosperity, receiving at the annual meeting 
in 1801, an addition of more than three thousand mem- 
bers. From it have gone out many other associations. 
But it has since experienced severe trials, one in 

( 167) 

1802, in the case of a minister by name of Easton, and 
James Gerrard a member of the same church, and 
at that time Governor of the State, who began to dis- 
close some speculations of an Arian or Socinian cast, 
and another about two years after, by the introduce 
tion of the subject of slavery, and subsequently by 
by personal disagreement, and still more recently by 
Campbellism. It is now however a respectable body. 
In 1832 it contained twenty churches, w^ith three 
thousand fou;- hundred and twenty-seven members. 

This notice of the Elkhorn association may suffice 
as a specimen of the history of most others in the 
state, all having been subjected to similar vicissitudes. 
Some account of the great revival in Kentucky will 
be given in the chapter devoted to the subject. 

In 1812 according to Mr. Benedict and the state- 
ment of another, the sum total of the denomination in 
Kentucky v/as, thirteen associations, two hundred 
and sixty-three churches, and between seventeen 
thousand and twenty thousand members. By Allen's 
Register, there were in 1832, thirty-four associations, 
four hundred and eighty-four churches, with thirty-four 
thousand one hundred and twenty-four communi" 


Some ol the first settlers here were Baptists, and 
the interests of the denomination have considerably 


prevailed. The oldest church in the State was formed 
in 1790, with five members, by the' late Stephen 
Gano. It was originally called Columbia, now Duck 
Creek, containing in 1832, one hundred and eleven 
members. It has enjoyed several revivals and has 
sent out a number of ministers. 

The first association called the Miami, was formed 
in 1797, of only four churches in which were proba- 
bly not more than one hundred members. Its cir- 
cumstances have been generally prosperous. From 
it was formed the White Water in Indiana, and the 
East Fork of Little Miama in Ohio, which two bodies 
numbered in 1832, forty-seven churches. The old 
body in 1832, comprised twenty-six churches and 
twelve hundred and forty-five members. 

The brethren in Ohio are now to a considerable and 
increasing extent engaged in forwarding the benevo- 
lent plans of Christian operation, under the judicious 
direction of several enterprising ministers and other 
brethren. The whole number of members in 1809, 
was about twenty-five hundred, since which they have 
increased considerably. In 1832 the sum total vvas 
twenty-one associations, two hundred and eighty 
churches, and ten thousand four hundred and ninety, 
three communicants. 


in this State the Baptists are numerous and ca- 
pable of acoomplishing much if they were properly 


excited to religious effort, which some recent move- 
ments indicate will be the case ere long. The 
churches have been seriously disturbed by the senti- 
ments of the self styled Reformer, A. Campbell, and 
also by the influence of Daniel Parker. Mr. P. has 
written several philippics against missions &c. and 
published two pamphlets on v/hat he calls the " two 
seeds," in which he maintains that there is an Eter- 
nal and self subsistent devil — that the non elect never 
fell in Adam and did not proceed from him, but were 
begotten by the Devil, Eve being their mother but 
Adam not their father, that there is no repentance 
nor provision of salvation for them &c. &:c. Both 
these men have been industrious in propagating their 
sentiments and have succeeded in drawing many 
away after them, but it is believed that their influ- 
ence is on the decline. 

Several of the associations andmany of the church- 
es are decidedly hostile to mission and other socie- 
ties, but some feel and act for the glory of God and 
the enlargement of Zion, and a redeeming spirit be- 
gins to prevail in the state which will undoubtedly 
place the Baptists of Indiana on the eminence to 
which their numbers &;c. entitle them. From im- 
perfect returns furnished in 1832 v/e learn that there 
were twenty-one associations, two hundred and nine- 
ty-nine churches, and upwards of eleven thousand 



The first Protestant preacher who ever visited Il- 
linois was a Baptist preacher by name of James 
Smith from Kentucky, in 1788. The first Protestant 
church was a Baptist church at New Design, the field 
of Mr. Smith's labors, in 1796. 

In this State the Baptists are not so numerous as 
in Indiana, though in other respects they are similar. 
They are becoming we trust, moulded into a closer 
lesemblance to the primitive saints in their zeal for 
the Lord of Hosts. The State is beginning to enjoy 
the labours of more such men as J. M. Peck, the 
Home Mission society is aiding them to a good de- 
gree, and the old leaven of Antinomianism &c., hav- 
ing produced so bad a fermentation is discovered, to 
be condemned. Their infant yet rising institutions, 
will be noticed in the proper place. 

The sum total of the denomination in the State so 
far as could be ascertained in 1832, was sixteen asso- 
ciations, one hundred and sixty-one churches, and 
four thousand six hundred and twenty-two members. 
It is evident from this statement that the churches 
are small, averaging but about thirty members, yet 
they are scattered throughout the whole State, which 
containing forty-eight counties, would give to each 
«ounty more than three churches. If the churches be 

( 171 ) - 

thus divided, circumstances are afforded for the indul- 
gence of a pleasing vision of the future, when the 
churches will arise and shake themselves from the 
dust, and the converts* be multiplied. 


Mr. Peck in the Pioneer says, that " as early as 1796 
and '97, a number of Baptist families emigrated from 
North and South Carolina and Kentucky, to Upper 
Louisiana, now Missouri, and lived for several years 
under the Spanish government." 

" These all lived without church privileges for se- 
veral years. Thomas R. Blusick now living, the late 
pious John Clark, a preacher by the name of Brown, 
and perhaps others, sought out these scattered sheep 
in the wilderness, visited and preached to them by 
stealth, and were frequently threatened with the 
calaboza (the Spanish prison) but through the lenity 
of the commandants were permitted to escape. Their 
little meetings were quite refreshing to these pil- 
grims, surrounded as they were by the laws and ritei 
of Romanism. Thomas R. Musick removed his fa- 
mily and settled in this country in 1803, being the 
first Protestant minister that settled in the country. 
Thus the Baptists were the pioneers, and have an 
undoubted * preemption right' to Missouri. A church 

( 172 ) 

was not formed until 1805, which still exists in St. 
Louis county, and has a large brick meeting house." 

There are some energetic associations and churches 
in this growing state. The Franklin association, will 
not receive any church that is opposed to systematic 
efforts for the enlargement of the Redeemer's king- 
dom. In this new body composed often small churches, 
there were eighty-two baptized in 1832. The Clark's 
River association is opposed to benevolent operations, 
such as mission Societies, Sunday School Unions &;c. 
It comprises seven churches, and received by baptism 
two in the same year. Other instances might be 
given of the practical effects of these opposite prin- 

The sum total of the denomination is given in Al- 
len's Register at thirteen associations, one hundred 
and forty-six churches and four thousand nine hun- 
dred and seventy-twocommunicants, which falls short 
of the real number, as but few of the minutes for 
1832 were received^ 


Respecting the time of the first establishment o( 
Baptist churches here, we are not informed. In look- 
ing at the minutes of two associations for 1832, we 
find the earliest date to be 1818, in which year sever- 
al were constituted. Most of the churches are small, 

(173 ) 

tbe largest in 1832, containing one hundred and six- 
ty. three members. The average for the state is less 
than forty-six. But the little ones Avill become thou- 
sands, because many of the brethren in Alabama are 
■ivorking men, and their labor cannot be in vain. 

In 1832, there were in the state thirteen associa- 
tions, two hundred and fifty churches and eleven 
thousand four hundred and forty-five members. 


An association was formed called the Mississippi, 
about 1807, of churches composed of persons who 
had emigrated mostly from Georgia and South Caro- 
lina. In 1832, there were eighty-four churches in 
the state, comprised in four associations, with three 
thousand two hundred members. 


Protestants in this state are not, comparatively nu- 
merous, but iccreased ex Ttions are now in operation 
for the enlargement of their interests. The Baptists 
are doing something in the enterprise, and share par- 
tially in the success. The churches, are generally 
small, the largest being that at Feliciana, of which 
we present the following statement. " This church 

( 174 ) 

was gathered by J. A. Ronaldson, its present pastor. 
He was educated a Presbyterian, and was a member 
of a Pedo baptist church ; but from strong convictions 
of the truth, he embraced the sentiments of believers 
baptism, and joined the Baptist church, contrary to 
views of worldly interest, and the wishes of his best 
friends. He arrived in New Orleans in December 
1816, where he labored seven months with encour- 
aging prospects, but for want of funds retreated to the 
next important station, on the east bank of the Mis- 
sissippi, where in 1817, he constituted the Feliciana 
Baptist church, with eight members. It contained 
in 1832, two hundred and twelve members, and was 
then the largest Protestant church in the State. 

There is one association composed wholly of 
churches in this state, twelve in number, with three 
hundred and forty-five members; the remaining four 
churches with three hundred and eighty-three mem- 
bers, belong to the Mississippi association. This was 
the statement furnished in 1832; since then stations 
have been occupied in New Orleans and other places. 


No information can here be given of the rise of 
Baptists in this region, it was no doubt by emigration 
from older settlements. The Little Rock association 
contained in 1828, eight churches and eighty-eight 

( 175 ) 

members. The Spring River iii 1831, nine churches 
and ninety-three members. For these seventeen 
churches there were but seven ministers. Through 
the efforts of the Home Mission Society, it is hoped 
the destitution will be supplied and the wilderness 
soon flourish. 


The first church in this territory appears to be the 
PontiaCj constituted in 1822. Since then up to 1832, 
there were sixteen more fornsed, making in all seven- 
teen churches, and seven hundred and eleven mem- 
bers, composing one association, called the Michigan* 
The Baptist interest is in rather flourishing circum- 
stances. The church in Detroit is beginning to ex- 
ert a favorable influence there, and the support ren- 
dered the churches in the country by the Home Mis^ 
sion Society, together with the emigration of brethren 
from other states, can but inspire the hopes of Zion's 
continued enlargement. 

C Ay AD A. 

An association was formed here in 1804 of only three 
small churches, which had been built up chiefly by 
missionaries from the states of Vermont and New 

( 176) 

York. In 1832 there were four associations, thirty- 
seven churches and about two thousand members. 
During the last year (1835) extensive revivals were 
enjoyed in some of the churches, in which the prin- 
ciples of the Baptists, commended themselves to many 
who had been educated in opposition to them. This 
statement refers to Upper, the interest in Lower Can- 
ada is more feeble.* 

Having thus glanced at the Baptists in this widely 
extended country, so far as known by that name they 
are associated together, we cannot perhaps, do better 
than present a summary view of other societies called 
Baptist, but holding sentiments diverse from those of 
the Regular Baptists. 



The old church at Sandy Creek, North Carolina, for 
some years practiced weekly communion, but has re- 
linquished it. 

Some years ago, a number of ministers came from 
'^Gotland as Independents, who after travelling a short 

* From the Report of the A. B. Home Mission Society, 
we learn that in Upper Canada, there are sixty churches 
and in Lovrer, an association has been formed of eight 
churches and seven ministers. Revivals have been enjoy- 
ed, and prospects are cheering. 

( I'T ) 

time through the United States, were led to embraca 
Baptist sentiments. About 1809, four of these min- 
isters were baptized, and about the same time sever- 
al other Pedo baptist preachers were immersed. But as 
the Scotch Independents had generally practiced week- 
ly communion, these new converts to believers baptism 
were tenacious on that point. Some small churches 
were gathered in diflferent places, of which we can 
give no very particular information. None it is be- 
lieved, are associated with us excepting the church in 
New York, under the charge of Mr. Maclay, whose 
successful and com.mendable course has been noticed. 
In fact, the doctrinal sentiments of these persons are 
different, and in the order of their churches there has 
been no uniformity, nor do they seem to have main- 
tained much fellowship with each other. Perhaps 
here may be a suitable place to assign the Campbellites, 
if our good brother Maclay will allow it. We would 
gladly assign to him their supervision. A little com- 
munity of these pleaders for the "ancient order of 
things," exists in Philadelphia, and hold their meet- 
ings in Bank Street, the former session room of ths 
First Presbyterian church. 


Though from the beginning of Baptists in this 
country, there have been some who dissented from 

( n8 ) 

their views of the doctrines of grace, no considerable 
party was formed until about 17S0, when one was 
founded by Benjamin Randal, of New Hampshire. A 
number fell in with his views, and broke off from the 
other churches. They are now found in many parts 
of the United States. Their distinguishing tenets, 
will be known from their name. Their numbers were 
estimated by Mr. Benedict at one hundred and fifty 
churches, and ten thousand members. In October 
1832, their sixth General Conference met at Meredith, 
New Hampshire, when reports were presented ma- 
king their sum total, eight yearly meetings, thirty-six 
quarterly meetings, five hundred and forty-six church- 
es, and twenty-five thousand two hundred and seventy- 
six members. 

With this people may be associated, those calling 
themselves Christians^ who have a number of churches, 
in some of the Western States. They are, however, 
said to be Socinians or Arians, and they are no doubt 
one or the other, or perhaps there are some of both. 
Their strength is not particularly known. It is per- 
haps on the decline, in consecjuence of the more re- 
cent speculations of Alexander Campbell. 


This sect differs in nothingparticularly from the "Bap- 
tists," but in their views of the Sabbath, holding that 

( 179 ) 

the ten commandments are still binding upon Chris^ 
tians, and of course that the Seventh day of the week, 
and not the First, should be observed as the Christian 
Sabbath. They admit that the early christians paid 
respect to the first day of the week on account of 
the resurrection, yet contend that they then, and in 
after ages, observed the ancient Sabbath, and that the 
practice of observing two days was continued to the 
time of Constantino, when by an imperial law, the 
First was established in preference to the Seventh day. 
Their sentiments seem to have been maintained by 
some as early at least, as the twelfth century. Fran- 
cis Davidis as we have seen in the history of Tran- 
sylvania, was of this denomination. 

There have been persons of these sentiments in 
England for a considerable period, among them the fa- 
mily of the Stennett's for three generations. Edward 
Stennett is the first of the family of whom we have 
any information. In the time of the civil wars he 
took the side of the Parliament. When he left the 
established church and united with the Baptists, he 
fell under the oppression of the ruling party, and be- 
ing deprived of the means of subsistence, studied and 
practised medicine. Joseph, his son, became an emi- 
nent minister, whose learning and abilities were very 
great, and who rendered essential service to the Bap- 
tist cause. His son Joseph, D. D., retained his opin^ 
ions of the Seventh day, but became pastor of a church 
of another belief. The fourth in descent was the late 
Samuel Stennett, D. D. (author of several hymns in 

( ISO ) 

eur collections) of London ; and the fifth, Joseph 
Stennett, of Oxfordshire. Francis Bampfield, one of 
the most eminent ministers of his tme, was of this 

In the time of Edward Stennett there were nine or 
ten churches in England, but when Mr. Benedict 
wrote, he could not learn that there were more than 

The first Sabbatarian church in America, was form- 
ed in Newport, R. I. in 1671. The Hopkinton church 
was founded in 1708, and contained in 1812, about 
nine hundred members; though in 1832, the number 
was six hundred and seventy-two. In the State of 
New York, there are several flourishing churches, 
there are also a few in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
Connecticut, Virginia and Ohio. The Seventh day 
Baptist Conference wag formed in 1803, with eight 
churches and about eleven hundred members. In 
1832, there were connected with it thirty-two church- 
es, forty-two ministers, and four thousand two hundred 
and fifty-eight members. What the population now is, 
under their influence, we cannot determine. When 
the number of their communicants was less than two 
thousand, it was supposed by Mr. Clarke their histo- 
rian, that the Seventh day was observed by a popula- 
tion of not less than fifteen thousand. 

More than half the whole number of members, are 
comprised in the churches in the State of New York- 

( 181 ) 


Soon Sifter the settlement of Pennsylvania, a differ- 
ence arose among the Quakers about the sufficiency 
of the light within, some affirming, some denying. 
The latter were headed by George Keith, and there- 
fore called Keithians. The difference rose to a divi- 
sion in 1691, when separate meetings were establish- 
ed and a confession of faith was published. About 
the same time, and afterwards, other pieces were 
published, among other things to complain of the un- 
fair treatment, slanders, fines, imprisonments, and 
other persecutions they endured from their brethren. 

In regard to this dispute there is one circumstance 
v/hich we have promised to notice. John Holmes, 
the only Baptist magistrate in Philadelphia at the 
time, refused to act with the Quaker magistrates 
against the Keithians, alleging " that it v;as a reli- 
gious dispute, and therefore not fit for acivil court." 
He also openly blamed the court for refusing to 
admit the exceptions, which the prisoners made to 
their jury. This is another proof that the principles 
of the Baptists will not admit of persecytion for con- 
science' sake. 

However, the current was against them, and the 
Keithians declined. Their leader went over to the 
Episcopalians. Many persisted in the separation and 

( 182 ) 

by resigning themselves to the guidance of the Scrip- 
tures found water in the commission, and bread 
and wine in the command, &c. In a few years the 
most of them united with the Seventh day, and the 
Regular Baptists. We have seen that the meeting 
house of one of their societies occupied the site of 
that of the First Baptist church in Philadelphia. The 
church of Brandywine was formed by Abel Morgan 
with fifteen of this sect, andsomeunited withtheSouth- 
ampton, and others with the Lower Dublin church^ 
Thus we have seen that the Keithian Quakers be- 
came transformed into Keithian Baptists. They were 
called also Quaker Baptists because they retained the 
language &;c. of the Quakers. 


They are called Tunkers in derision, but as the 
term signifies Dippers they may rest contented with 
the nickname, since it is the fate of the Baptists, in 
all countries to bear some cross or other. Their first 
appearance in this country was in 1719, when about 
20 families landed in Philadelphia and dispersed 
themselves to Germantown and other places. Ano- 
ther company arrived in 1729. These had been bred 
Presbyterians, excepting one who was a Lutheran, 
and being neighbors they consorted together to read 
ihe Bible and edify one another in the way they had 

( 183 ) 

been brought up ; for as yet tho^y did not know there 
were any Baptists in the world. However believer's, 
baptism and a congregational church soon gained upon 
them, insomuch that they were determined to obey the 
Gospel in these matters, which they did. By persecu- 
tion they were scattered through Germany, &;c. and fin- 
ally these two companies sought refuge in America. 
Thus from a little one of seven souls has sprang a 

The main body of Tunker Baptists in America is 
in Pennsylvania. By a statement of Morgan Edwards 
in 1790, it appears that there were at that time 1 
church in Jersey, 15 in Pennsylvania, 7 in Maryland, 
and in the more Southern States 10, with about 1500 
communicants, and a population of about 4000. It 
seems they have always been shy of the English, 
and it has been said that they will make no commu- 
nication to others concerning themselves. Some 
churches mentioned by Mr. Edwards have become 
extinct, others have removed to the Westward, and 
on the whole we believe them to be on the decline. 

It is difficult to say what are the definite doctrinal 
sentiments of the Tunkers; it is said that they hold 
the do2trine of universal salvation and hence they are 
often called Universalists. The writer can testify that 
some of them preach universal restoration. They prac- 
tice trine immersion, the candidate kneeling. They 
maintain a great degree of simplicity, are meek and 
quiet in their deportment, and had at one time acquir- 
ed the name of the Harmless Tunkers. 

( 184) 


This people take their name from Menno Simon, (of 
whom mention has been made) who was a man of 
learning and zeal and carried the Reformation farther 
than Luther and Calvin. He would have been rank- 
ed with the chief Reformers, had there not been 
sosne cross grained fatality attending the deeds of the 
Baptists to prevent their deserved praise. He was 
willing for the truth's sake, to encounter the odium, 
that their enemies attempted to cast upon the Baptists 
in consequence of the Munster affair. We may say 
here, that the contrivers of that insurrection were not 
Baptists though three of them became conspicuous in 
it ; one on account of his wealth, and two by their su- 
perior skill and courage in contending with the ty- 
rants who opposed them. 

We have stated Menno*s views of baptism ; he was 
a Baptist. He was immersed and did immerse only. 
His successors did the same for a long time, except 
when they made proselytes in prison or were pre- 
vented from going to rivers, which they excused as 
cases of necessity. But with them as in the case of 
Catholics, &c. what wa? at first done cut of a suppos- 
ed necessity became afterwards a matter of choice. 
No necessity now exists in this country for pouring, 
and as the Mennonists maintain their integrity with 
regard to the subjects by confining the ordinance to 

( 185) 

professed believers, it is hoped that they will return 
to follow Menno in an affair wherein he was so emi- 
nent a follower of Christ and his Apostles- We feel dis- 
posed to commend them as far as they go, because 
while they require repentance and faith previous to 
baptism they keep up the distinction between the 
church and the world, which those do not who act 
upon the contrary principles of infant membership. 

Their doctrinal sentiments are for the mest part 
orthodox. They wmII neither swear nor fight, nor 
bear any civil office, nor go to law, nor take interest 
for the money they lend. Some of them yet wear 
their beards, and practice feet washing. They use 
great plainness of speech and dress. Their ciiurch 
government like that of all Baptists, is wholly demo- 
cratic or republican. 

Some families of this people were in Pennsylvania 
as early as 1692, and in 1708, there was a church set- 
tied at Germantown consisting of 52 members. What 
the total number of this sect now is we cannot tell, 
they are not however, upon the increase. As they 
have changed the administration of baptism from im- 
mersion to affusion, they are wholly left out inthe 
enumeration of American Baptists. 


la Rhode Island and some other places in the ear- 
ly settlement of churches there were some, who very 


rigidly contended for the six principles of the doctrine 
of Christ as laid down in the 6th chapter of Hebrews, 
and hence derived their name. Some it appears 
opposed singing in public worship. Their sentiments 
generally are those of other Baptists. In 1832 there 
were 23 churches, and 2,137 members. 


This chapter will be devoted to Biographical no- 
tices of some distinguished ministers and others in the 
Baptist denomination. These for the most part will be 
selected from Benedict's History, because we presume 
that they are the least familiar lo the mass of readers, 
especially those who are in the habit of perusing the 
periodicals of the day, in which occasional notices 
are taken of deceased and living ministers and others. 
Further, there are many who are constrained to ad- 
mit that the Society now wields in its ministry a large 
amount of talent and influence, but who seem un- 
willing to concede the same to have been always the 
case. Again, the writer may be pernriitted to express 
his humbleopinion,thatnodenomination has ever been 
honored with a more devoted and efficient ministry 
than the Fathers of our churches constituted. They 
won many to righteousness, and while they shine as 
stars in the firmament of heaven, let them ever oc- 
cupy among us, the beneficiaries of their labors and 

( 167 ) 

successes, the eminence of dazzling reflection to 
which their virtues entitle them. The chapter will 
not however, be devoted entirely to them, but will 
embrace others in this country and some in Europe. 
Their names will be presented neither in reference 
to preeminence nor date, but in alphabetical order. 

Isaac Backus, A. M. was born at Norwich, Con- 
necticut, January 9th, 1724. In the New Light Stir 
he was brought to the knowledge of the truth, when in 
the 18th year of his age. He united with a Pedo baptist 
Church, and began the ministry in 1746. In 1751 he 
embraced Baptist sentiments. From this time he 
took an active part in favor of the Baptist cause and 
the welfare of his country, as an ardent advocate for 
religious liberty. A list is given in Benedict made 
out by himself, of 36 pieces published by him, to which 
others may be added. He finished his course, Novem- 
ber 20th, 1806, in the 83rd year of his age, and 60th of 
his ministry. 

To him the denomination is greatly indebted for 
his untiring efforts in their behalf. He wrote a his- 
tory of the Baptists in 3 vols. As a historian, Ban- 
croft says, he is not sufficiently esteemed. It may be 
truly said of him " he was a burnicg and a shining 

William Carey, D. D. " We can picture to our- 
selves no human being in an attitude of mind partak- 
ing more of moral grandeur, no human intellect more 
sublimely occupied in view of the angels, than Wii» 

( 188 ) . 

11am Carey, the obscure village school master, con* 
ceiving the project of going forth, single handed, to 
make an inroad into the very heart of the kingdom of 
darkness, in the distant East. While yet a youth, 
struggling with penury, his mind was first visited 
with that strong impression of solicitude for the sal- 
vation of the Heathen, which it would be impiety to 
ascribe to any other source than the immediate sug- 
gestion of Him who had designed and separated him 
for the work." 

William Carey was born at Hackleton in Leices- 
tershire, England ,on the 17th August, 1761. The 
circumstances of his parents were extremely narrow, 
and he had few advantages of education, except those 
which his own active and enquiring mind obtained 
for him. He was brought up as a journeyman shoe- 
maker; and a boot made by him is still preserved by 
one of his friends as a relic. It was about the year 
1779, that young Carey Ifecame the subject of a decid- 
ed religious change. Up to that time, he had dis- 
covered no piety, and had even ridiculed religious 

"When in his nineteenth year," says his sister "my 
dear brother used to speak at a friend's house in the 
village, when he came to see us. I recollect a neigh- 
bor of ours, a good woman, the first Monday morning 
after he had spoken before a few friends, came in to 
congratulate my mother on the occasion; when with 
tome Burpriee my mother said: AVhat! do you think 

( 189 ) 

he will be a preacher? "Yes, our friend replied, and a 
great one too if he lives." 

" In 1783 Mr Carey united Himself to the Baptist 
church at Olney, under the pastoral care of Mr. Sut- 
cliff. In 1785 he was called to the work of the min- 
istry; and was ordained pastor over the infant Baptist 
Society in the village of Mou.lton in 1787." He af- 
terwards went to Leicester and became in 1791, pas- 
tor of the church over which Robert Hall presided 
many years. Here his ministry was greatly blessed, 
and here he introduced the monthly concert of prayer, 
a practice first adopted by some ministers at Notting- 
ham, upon the suggestion of Mr. Sutcliff in 1784, and 
now become general throughout the christian world. 

About the year 1793 a Mr. Thomas, who had visit- 
ed Bengal and witnessed the wretchedness of the 
idolatrous people, greatly strengthened Mr. Carey's 
mind in the purpose he had formed to attempt th'e 
improvement of the heathen world. These two com- 
municated with Mr. Fuller and Dr. Ryland and other 
leading members of the denomination en the subject. 
A society was formed which commenced its labors 
with between £13 and £14 as the whole amount of 
its disposable funds! With a firm and unbending 
faith and a resolute purpose, Dr. Carey agreed to go 
out to India and there support himself as far as possi- 
ble, whilst he qualified himself for his missionary 

The circumstances under which he quitted Eng- 
land wore singular and interesting. His wife refua- 

{ 190 ) 

ing to accompany iiitn after every entreaty had been 
employed, he and Mr. Thomas were compelled to sail 
without her. After they had proceeded a short dis- 
tance a circumstance occurred on board the ship, 
which induced the Captain to put them on shore. 
This was for a moment a severe disappointment, but 
having secured a passage on board a Danish vessel, 
and being furnished by the liberality of Dr. Rippon 
and others, with the funds necessary for the increased 
expense of travelling to which they were subjected, 
they hastened to visit Mrs. Carey. She again turned 
a deR{ ear to their entreaties, and they with heavy 
hearts took as they thought a last farewell and left 
her. When they had proceeded about two miles, 
Mr. Thomas insisted upon turning back and making 
one more attempt. Mr. Carey objected and entreated 
to have his feelings spared but Mr. Thomas seemed so 
resolutely bent on this renewed effort, that they did 
turn back. They succeeded in the effort, but not a 
moment was to be lost, and they with Mrs. C. and her 
sister and four children were hurried off to Deal. On 
their arrival there the vessel was discovered under 
sail, and but lit-tle hope was entertained of overtaking 
her. The attempt was made and by dint of persever- 
ance they were all received on board and conveyed 
to their destination. On their arrival Dr. Carey and 
Mr. Thomas engaged in secular employments, which 
enabled them to acquire and become familar with the 
language of the natives. Mr. Carey was soon called 
to an account, and upon admitting that his design 

(191 ) 

was to evangelize the heathen, he was told that he must 
forthwith embark for England. This proceeding 
drove him to seek refuge in the Danish settlement of 
Serampore, 13 miles from Calcutta, where he was 
joined in 1800 by Ward, Marshman and others, all of 
whom, except Dr. Marshman and his son, have enter- 
ed into their rest. 

Dr. Carey was indefatigable in his labors to acquire 
the languages of the East. We present our readers 
with a view of his engagements for one day, which he 
describes himself in a letter to a friend, " I rose this 
morning at a quarter before six, read a chapter in the 
Hebrew Bible, and spent the time till seven, in pri- 
vate addresses to God, and then attended family 
prayer with the servants in Bengalee. Wnile tea was 
getting ready, I read in Persian with a moonshi who 
was waiting when I left my bed room; read also be- 
fore breakfast a portion of scripture in Hindostanee. 
The moment breakfast was over, sat down to the 
translation of the Ramayuna from Sungskrit, with a 
Pundit, who was also waiting, and continued this 
translation till 10 o'clock, at which hour I went to 
College, and attended the duties there till between 
one and two. When I returned home, I examined a 
proof sheet of the Bengalee translation of Jeremiah, 
which took till dinner time. I always when in Cal» 
cutta, dine at Mr. Rolt'a which is near. After din- 
ner, translated, with the assistance of the chief Pun- 
dit of the college, the greatest part of the eighth 
chapter of Matthew into Sungskrit. This employed 

( 192 ) 

me till six o'clock. After six sat down with a Tel- 
inga Pundit to learn that language. At seven, I be- 
gan to collect a few previous thoughts into ^ form 
of a sermon, and preached in English at half past 
seven. After sermon, got a subscription of £63 10s 
towards erecting our new place of worship. Preach- 
ing was over and the congregation gone by nine. I 
then sat down and translated the eleventh of Ezekiel 
into Bengalee, and this lasted till near eleven, and 
now I sit down to write to you. After this 1 conclude 
the evening by reading a chapter in the Greek Testa- 
ment and commending myself to God. 1 have never 
more time in a day than this, though the exercises 

From his early youth he discovered a fondness for 
botanic studies, which accompanied him to India, and 
his delight in the works of God may be considered as 
tending in a great degree both to his health and fine 
flow of spirits, for which he was distinguished. "Ris- 
ing before five in the morning, he rode out for an 
hour, and after this was to be found among his trees 
and plants. In process of time his garden became 
perhaps the best private garden in India." In 1812 
he printed at Serampore the Hortus Bengalensis, or 
catalogue of the plants growing inlthe East India Com- 
pany's Botanic garden at Calcutta. The Flora Indica 
was also published by him. In the Botany of India 
two trees and an herb bear his name — the Careya 
Arbortttf — Sphericttt — and Herbacea* The Agri- 


izuitural and Horticultural Society of India^ owes its 
origin to Dr. Carey. 

" Nor was it to the vegetable world only he direct* 
ed his leisure moments, if leisure he ever knew. *I 
have for a long time,' says he in 1811, ' been descri- 
bing the birds of Asia, and have already accomplished 
almost one half of them, and some of the quadrupeds, 
and a few of the insects.' In a few words, besides his 
valuable lectures on divinity, lectures on astronomy 
and geography, as well as natural history, and in Ben- 
galee as well as English, were delivered by him for 
many years." 

But his aptitude for acquiring languages, was Dr. Ca- 
rey's most wonderful natural endowment. Before he 
left his native country for India, he had under many 
difficulties, made himself sufficiently master of six 
languages besides his native tongue, to read the bible 
in each ; viz; Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, Italian 
and Dutch. In the languages of the East he made 
the same'progress, so that **God most graciously pro- 
longed the years of his servant, until he lived to see 
more than 213,000 volumes of the Divine word, in 
forty different languages, issue from the Serampore 

Speaking of his " enlarged humanity," one remarks 
that " long familiarity with the miseries of Hindoo- 
ism has hardened by degrees the heart of many a Eu- 
ropean in his day ; they never could the heart of Ca- 
rey." His exertions first led to the prevention of in- 
fanticide, and that of persons devoting themselves to 

( 194 ) 

death in the mouth of the Hooghly. He also contri- 
buted most powerful aid in procuring the declaration 
by the Governor General in council, of the illegality 
of the burning or burying alive the Hindoo widows. In 
the attempt to establish a leper hospital in Calcutta, 
Dr. Carey took an active part. The Benevolent Insti- 
tution for the education of the indigent and neglected 
Portuguese children in Calcutta, was established by 
the senior brethren at Serampore, and they were the 
first who commenced the education of the Hindoo fe- 

" The little church that he at first formed, has 
branched out into 26 churches now connected with 
the mission, in which the ordinances of the Gospel 
are regularly administered. Often did he exclaim in 
astonished thankfulness, " what has God wrought." 

" The career which Dr. Carey has run, is worthy 
of most honourable notice. He was a man who stood 
prominently forward from the mass of the several ge- 
nerations of men with whom he lived, and both for 
his private and public character, deserves to be had 
in everlasting remembrance." 

He has been termed" the Protestant Xavier,"" and 
the Apostle of Modern missions" and we hesitate not 
to affirm that, a greater than he, has not lived in the 
present century. He departed to his eternal rest, 
having not a doubt, and as he often said with not a 
wish left unsatisfied, on the 9th June, 1834, aged 73 

^\ R. CoBB. It is to the principles of Mr» 

( 195 ) 

Cobb rather than the incidents of his life that our at- 
tention is to be directed. He ha-s taught how a Chris- 
tian merchant can live, and how he can die. He was 
born in Falmouth, near Portland, Maine, on the 3d 
of November, 1798. His childhood and youth were 
passed at Plymouth, Mass., until 1814, when he went 
to Boston as a clerk to Messrs. Ripley <fe Freeman. 
In May 1818, he was baptized by Dr. Sharp and be- 
came a member of the Charles street Baptist Church. 
In February, 1819, he commenced business with Mr. 
Freeman, under the firm of Freeman &; Cobb. He 
died on the 22d May, 1834, leaving a widow and an 
only son to survive him. 

Mr. Cobb resolved at the commencement of his re- 
ligious life, that he would serve the Saviour with all 
his power, in that sphere which seemed to be parti- 
cularly assigned to him. He had not an opportunity 
to acquire extensive learning, and he could not serve 
the church to any considerable extent by his voice or 
by his pen. But' he possessed unusual talents for bu- 
siness, which he regarded as the instrument he ought 
to employ for the glory of his Saviour. He felt it to 
be his duty to use this instrumentality in earning 
money for the cause of God, on precisely the same 
principles that it is the duty of tlie minister, to devote 
his talents for preaching to the service of the Lord 
Jesus. He accordingly in November 1821, drew up 
and subscribed the following remarkable document : 

'< By the grace of God, I will never be worth more 
than $50,000." 

( 196 ) 

" By the grace of God, I will give one.-fourth of the 
nett profits of my business to charitable and religious 

"If I am ever worth $20,000 dollars, I will give 
one-half of my nett profits; and if I am ever worth 
$30,000, I will give three-fourths ; and the whole af- 
ter $50,000. So help me God, or give to a more 
faithful steward, and set me aside.'* 

"N. R. COBB." 

" To this covenant he adhered with conscientious 
fidelity. He distributed the profits of his business, 
with an increasing ratio, from year to year, till he 
reached the point he had fixed as the limits of his 
property, and then he gave to the cause of God all he 
earned. He always felt, that God had bestowed on 
him a rich blessing, in enabling him thus to serve his 
cause. On his death bed, he said to a friend " By 
the grace of God — nothing else — by the grace of God, 
I have been enabled, under the influence of those re- 
solutions to give avvay more than $40,000. How good 
the Lord has been to me." 

The services of Mr. Cobb, as a member of nume- 
rous benevolent societies, were highly valuable. His 
sympathies and liberality were not confined to his 
own denomination ; but he justly felt that as a Baptist 
he could best advance the Redeemer's kingdom, by 
upholding Baptist interests and institutions. 

The last days of his life were brightened by chris- 
tian hope. While he was able to converse, he ex- 
pressed his humble yet firm reliance on the Redeem- 

( 197) 

ef. He spoke with grateful joy of the Saviour's 1ot8 
and faitlifulness, and of his desire to depart and be 
with Christ. 

Mr. Cobb steadily acted upon the principles of the 
duty of every Christian to serve God with whatever 
kind and degree of talent he possessed. While he 
served the Saviour by personal activity, by his sound 
judgment, and by his skill in managing the temporal 
concerns of Zion ; his peculiar talent was that of 
earning money; and he faithfully employed it for the 
glory of God. Why should not other Christians fol- 
low his example? Why, for example should not the 
merchant; or farmer or mechanic, in America, consi- 
der it to be as much his duty to spend his life in la- 
bour to maintain some missionary in Burmah, as it is 
the duty of that missionary to go abroad, and preach 
the Gospel to the heathen ? 

Mr. Cobb resolved that he never would retain as 
his own property more than 50,000 dollars, consider- 
ing that as large a sum as any Christian has a right to 
possess. But, he did not wait until he had acquired 
that amount, before he began to devote his money to 
religious uses. There are many Christians, who think 
that, if they could accumulate a certain sum, they 
would then be generous. Mr. C. did not act thus, but 
from the beginning gave to the Lord, who amply re- 
paid him. 

Mr. Cobb acted on a settled plan. He had estab- 
lished a principle and he adhered to it. His benevo- 
lence was not an occasional overflow, at the impulse 

( 198 ) 

of excitement ; it was a steady stream. He would not 
trust to his feelings. He said that he sometimes gave 
money from principle, when, if he had consulted his 
feelings alone, he might have withheld it. 

Mr. Cobb resolved to distribute his money himself 
while he lived. There is a very common delusion 
among Christians on this subject. They resolve that, 
in their last will and testament, their money shall be 
judiciously and liberally appropriated to benevolent 
purposes, and thus appease their consciences for their 
penuriousness while they live. He was his own ex- 
ecutor, and the 40,000 dollars which he gave away 
during his short life, may have done more good than 
half a million had it been bequeathed in his will. 

Mr. Cobb was an evidence, that a man may be 
most actively engaged in business, without losing 
the vigor of his piety. He may be found in the count- 
ing room, or on the exchange ; in the bank or in the 
insurance office, without compromising his Christian 
principles, or dimming the brightness of his example. 
Not the least of the services which Mr. C. rendered 
to the cause of truth, was his daily exhibition of the 
pure influence of Christian principles, by which he 
compelled the mercantile men, with whom he associ- 
ated to acknowledge and reverence the power of that 
religion which so obviously reigned in his bosom. 
" Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth." 

Joseph Cook. Mr. Cook was born of pious parents 
in the city of Bath, England, and converted under 
the ministry of Whitefield, who became exceed- 

( 199 ) 

ingly attentive and kind to him. As he soon ga?c 
evidence of the possession of ministerial gifts, La- 
dy Huntingdon sent him in the 19th year of his 
age to her college at Trevecka, South "Wales. Here 
he applied himself closely to his studies, and made 
considerable improvement. He was much esteemed 
by his tutors and fellow students, especially for his 
lively spiritual turn of mind, and his readiness to 
help and comfort those who were in trouble of soul. 
In the villages around the school his labors were at- 
tended with success. Subsequently, at Dover and 
other places, his preaching was blest to the conver- 
sion of a number, several of whom became members 
of Baptist churches. 

When the mission to America was formed, Mr. C. 
(with others) freely offered himself for the service. 
Early in 1776, he found it his duty to change his sen- 
timents, and was accordingly baptized, and united 
with a Baptist church. He soon became the pastor of 
the church at Evvhaw, S. Carolina. His preaching 
continued to be blest to the conversion of many. 

He died on Lord's day morning, September 26thy 
1790, as the righteous die. His character is thus sum- 
med up by one of his friends; "his mental powers were 
good, and had received improvement by an acquaint- 
ance with the liberal arts and sciences, though his 
education had not been completed. As a preacher he 
was zealous, orthodox, and experimental. He spoke 
with animation and much fervor; though his talent 
lay so much in the persuasive, that at the end of bi3 

( 200 ) 

Bermon, he frequently left the audience in tears. He 
was taken from his labours at a time when his charac- 
ter had arisen to considerable eminence, and a spa- 
cious field of usefulness was opening all around him." 

Lemuel Covel, was it is believed a native of the 
State of New York. He commenced his ministerial 
labors under great disadvantages, being both poor and 
illiterate. But notwithstanding he was obliged to la- 
bor almost constantly for his support, such were the 
astonishing powers of his nreind, that he became one 
of the most distinguished preachers in the Baptist 
connection. His talents were far above mediocrity, 
his voice was clear and majestic, and his address man- 
ly and engaging. The doctrine of salvation by the 
cross, was the grand theme on which he dwelt with 
peculiar pleasure; and his preaching was of the most 
solid, perspicuous and interesting kind. He lived the 
religion he professed, and exem{)lified by his conduct 
the rules he laid down for others. As an itine- 
rant preacher, his zeal and success were equalled by 
few; and perhaps exceeded by none of the American 
preachers. While travelling as a missionary in Upper 
Canada, in October, 1806, he finished his eartnly 

Isaac Eaton, A. M. Mr. Eaton was born in 1725, 
and died July 4, 1772. He was pastor of the church 
at Hopewell, N. J. about 24 years. His funeral ser- 
mon was preached by Samuel Jones, D. D. of Penne- 
pek J who thus briefly portrayed his character. " The 

( 201 ) 

natural endowments of his'mind ; the improvement 
of these by the accomplishments of literature; his 
early and genuine piety ; his abilities as a divine and 
a preacher ; his extensive knowledge of men and 
books; his Catholicism, 6lc, would afford ample scope 
to flourish in a funeral oration, but it is needless." 
• Mr. Eaton was the first man among the American 
Baptists, who set up a school for the education of youths 
for the ministry, and his labor in this department of 
ministerial usefulness, will certainly obtain for him a 
high regard in the estimation of the advocates of 

Morgan Edwards, A. M. was born in Wales, on 
May 9th, 1722. He erTtered on the ministry in the 16th 
year of his age. He arrived in this country in May, 
1T61, and shortly afterwards became pastor of the first 
church in Philadelphia. 

The College and Academy, of Philadelphia, at a 
very early period, honored him as a learned man and 
a popular preacher, with a diploma constituting him 
Master of Arts; this was followed by a degree ad 
eundeniy in the year 1769, from the College of Rhode 
Island. In this seminary he held a Fellowship, and 
filled it with reputation, till he voluntarily resigned 
It in 1789. 

Mr. Edwards wrote several pieces, among which 
was ^' materials towards a History of the Baptists in 
Pennsylvania." The Baptist churches are much in- 
debted to him, and will long remember the time and 
talents he devoted to their best interests, both in E'l- 

( 202 ) 

rope and America. The College of Rhode Island is 
afeo under obligations to him, lor his vigorous exer- 
tions, at home and abroad in its behalf. This he deem- 
ed the greatest service he ever did for the honor of the 
Baptist name. 

He died in January 1795 in a good old age, and 
with the utmost composure closed his eyes on all 
the things of time. His becoming a Baptist was the 
effect of previous examination and conviction, having 
been brought up in the Episcopal church, and though 
he retained a particular regard for that church while 
be lived, yet the Baptist interest was ever uppermost 
with him. He labored to promote it, because he be- 
lieved it to be the interest of Christ above any in 

Benjamin Foster, D. D. was born at Danvers, 
Mass. Jane 12th, 1750. His parents were Congrega- 
tionalists. At the the age of eighteen they placed him 
at Yale College, where he soon distinguished himself 
for a religious life, and assiduity and successive 
classical literature. About this time several tracts 
relative to the subject of baptism, made their appear- 
ance. The matter was agitated in College, and fixed 
on as a proper subject for discussion. Mr. Foster 
was appointed to defend infant sprinkling. To pre- 
pare himself for the dispute, he used the utmost ex- 
ertion. The result, however, was very different from 
what had been expected; for when the day appointed 
for discussion arrived, he was so far from being pre- 
pared to defend it, that, to the great astonishment of 

( 203 ) 

the officers of the College, he avowed himself a deci- 
ded convert to Baptist sentiments. 

He graduated about the 3'ear 1772, and was soon 
after baptized by Dr. Stiliman, of Boston. Shortly 
after his baptism, he took charge of the church at 
Leicester, where he continued several years, when he 
removed to Newport, R. 1. where his sphere of use- 
fulness vvas enlarged. He remained at Newport until 
1783, when he received and accepted a call to the 
First Baptist church in New York, where he labored 
till 179S. He died in the 49lh year of his age. 

In September 1792, the degree of D. D. was con- 
ferred upon him by the College of Rhode Island, io 
consequence of a learned publication of his, entitled, 
" A dissertation upon the seventy weeks of Daniel 
&c.*' As a scholar, particlarly in the Greek, Hebrew, 
and Chaldean languages, Dr. Foster left few superiors. 
The following inscription in marble over his grave, 
written by an eminent Presbyterian clergyman of New 
York, is an encomium justly due to his memory; "As 
a scholar and divine he excelled; as a preacher he was 
eminent; as a christian he shone conspicuously; in 
his piety he was fervent; the church was comforted by 
his life, and it now laments his death." 

Daniel Fristoe, was born in Virginia in 1739, was 
bred an Episcopalian, butembraced Baptist sentiments 
soon after they began to prevail in Virginia. He re- 
ceived a liberal English Education. When about 23 
years of age, his curiosity led him to go a c«nsiderable 

( 204 ) 

distance to hear a Baptist preacher. While at the 
meeting his horse strayed away and he was obliged to 
tarry all night at the place. He returned home with 
much seriousness and solicitude, and after laboring a 
while under great distress of mind, was brought mto 
the liberty of the gospel. He began to exhort, and 
was soon called to the ministry. His course was short 
and rapid, and the success of his labors unusually 
great. He died in the Soth year of his age. 

His biography has been much neglected. We give 
a short extract from his own journal. "This day. 
June 15, 1771, I began to act as an ordained minis- 
ter and never before saw such manifest appearances 
of God's working, and the devil's raging at one tifiae 
and in one place. Sixteen persons were judged to be 
fit subjects for baptism. The next day being Sunday, 
about 2,000 people came together ; many more offered 
for baptism, thirteen of whom were judged v/orthy. 
As we stood by the water, the people were weeping 
and crying in a most extraordinary manner; and 
others cursing and swearing, and acting like men 
possessed. When the ordinance was administered 
and I bad laid hands on the parties baptized, we sang 
those charming words of Dr. Watts, ' Come we who 
love the Lord, &c.' The multitude sang and wept 
and smiled in tears, holding up their hands and coun- 
tenances towards Heaven, in such a manner as I had 
not seen before. In going home I turned to look at 
the people, who remained by the water side, and saw 
some screaming on the ground, some wringing their 

( 205 ) 

hands, some in ecstEcies of joy, some praying, others 
cursing and swearing, and exceedingly outrageous. 
We have seen seen strange things to day." 

Andrew Fuller, D. D.* was born at Wicken, in 
England, on the 6th February, 1754. After his con- 
version, he lived a life of devotion to his God and Sa- 
viour, and the cause of truth and humanity, and died 
the death of the righteous. He entered into his rest 
on the 7th May, 1815, aged 61 years. 

The eloquent Robert Hall has said in one of his 
works, " I cannot refrain from expressing in a few 
words, the sentiments of affectionate veneration with 
which 1 always regarded that excellent person while 
living, and cherish his memory now that he is no 
more; a man, whose sagacity enabled him to penetrate 
to the depths of every subject he explored ; whose 
conceptions were so powerful and luminous, that 
what was recondite and original appeared familiar; 
what was intricate, easy and perspicuous in his hands; 
equally successful in enforcing the practical, stating 
the theoretical, and discussing the polemical bran- 
ches of theology. Without the advantage of ear- 
ly education, he rose to high distinction among the 
religious writers of his day ; and in the midst of a 
most active and laborious life, left monuments of his 
piety and genius which will survive to distant pos- 

*This degree was conferred by the college of New Jer- 
sey though never appropriated. 


{206 ) 

^^ It maybe doubted, whether since the time of John 

Knox, any man could be found on this side the globe, 
who laboured more to cultivate and extend the know- 
ledge.of the truth than Mr. Fuller; and to that eminent 
reformer he bore a striking likeness, both in his excel- 
lencies and defects. Nor can there be any hesitation 
in subscribing fully to the sentiment that has been 
expressed by his venerable friend the late Dr. Ry- 
land, that he was probably " the most judicious and 
able theological writer that ever belonged to the Baptist 
denomination ; and that he will be highly esteemed for 
his able defence of the truth as it is in Jesus, and for 
his zeal for the propagation of the Gospel, not only by 
his cotemporaries of various religious persuasions, but 
by posterity, as long as the English language, and 
the history of the Baptist Mission to India shall en= 
dure." — Morris' Memoirs. 

" It is pleasing to reflect," says Dr. Newman, " that 
a spontaneous homage was paid to him by persons of 
all ranks and degrees. Men of education and learn- 
ing, men of distinction in wealth and oflice, the poor 
and illiterate, Christians in the establishment and out 
of it, of all denominations, hung delighted upon his 
lips," and when those lips were sealed in death, they 
poured out their tears upon his grave. And as long 
as the spiritual achievements in India are recollected, 
it cannot be forgotten, that Fuller lived and died a 
martyr to the Mission. 

To the energy and labours of Fuller, the Baptist 
Mission to India owes much of its prosperity and 

( 207) 

grandeur, and the names of Carey and Fuller will be 
transmitted together to the most distant posterity. 

John Gano was one of the most eminent ministers 
in his day. In point of talents he was exceeded by 
few, and as an itinerant he was inferior to none who- 
ever travelled the United States, unless it were the 
renowned Whitefield. He was born at Hopewell, N. 
J. July 22, 1727, was converted soon after he arrived 
at manhood, and was ordained in 1754. His mother 
was a Baptist, and his father a Presbyterian. Every 
thing attending his profession among the Baptists, 
was conducted with prudence on his part and tender- 
ness on that of his friends. He was at first much in- 
clined to join the Presbyterians, but having some 
scruples on the subject of infant baptism, he determi- 
ned to give it a thorough investigation. He not only 
read books, but had frequent conversations with Pres- 
byterian friends, among whom was the famous Mr. 
Tennant. After some suspense, he became fully es- 
tablished in those principles, which he through life 
maintained with so much ability and moderation. 

His mind was soon led to the ministry. One morn- 
ing after he began ploughing in his field, this pas- 
sage, " warn the people, or their blood will I require 
at your hands,^"* came upon him with such force that 
he drove on till 11 o'clock utterly insensible of his 
employment. When he came to himself, he found 
he was wet through with the rain, his horses were 
excessively fatigued, and the labor he had performed 
astonishingly great. 

( 20S ) 

Mr. Gano was peculiarly qualified for an itinerant 
preacher. He had a sagacity and quickness of per- 
ception which but few possess ; he had also a happy 
facility in improving every passing occurrence to 
some useful purpose. He could abash and confound 
the opposer, without exciting his resentment; and 
administer reproof and instruction where others would 
be embarrassed or silent. His memory was retentive ; 
his judgment good; his wit sprightly and always at 
command ; his zeal was ardent, but well regulated ; 
his courage undaunted ; his knowledge of men was 
extensive : and to all these accomplishments were ad- 
ded a heart glowing with love to God and men, and 
a character clear and unimpeachable. It is said that 
Hervey's servant declared his master could make a 
sermon out of a pair of tongs ; and probably not much 
inferior to his were the inventive powers of Mr. 

He was cordially esteemed and honored by the wise 
and good of all denominations. A clergyman of the 
Episcopal church in New York, heard him frequent- 
ly, and noted in his journal " that he thought Mr. 
Gano possessed the best pulpit talents of any man he 
had ever heard." He died in Kentucky in 1S04, in 
the .78th year of his age. 

Robert Hall is too well known to need more than 
a passing notice here ; indeed to transcribe the eulo- 
giums upon his character that have been presented to 
the community would occupy this entire volume^ 

( 209 ) 

England is proud of her son, and wherever the Eng^ 
lish language is known, the wise and good pay him 
the homage of grateful acknowledgment, for the be- 
nefactions of his piety and talents. Truly " he was 
a luminary of the first order, and it is delightful to 
feel the influence of his beams," as they fail upon the 
intellect and heart. 

Ensign Lincoln, was born at Kingham, Mass., on 
the 8th January, 1779. At the age of 14 he came to 
Boston, where he attended the ministry of Dr. Bald- 
win, from whom he received those instructions which 
were blessed to his conversion. He was baptized in 
1799, and maintained through life a uniform Curis - 
tian deportment. In September, 1811, he began to 
preach, and continued to do so frequently, though he 
would never consent to ordination, desiring no dis- 
tinction beyond that of usefulness as a lay preacher, 
in connexion with the business of a very extensive 
book store. He was of a kindred spirit with Cobb, 
and not only aided the churches by preaching and 
counsel, but by his gold and silver also. His last 
hours were those of the Christian. By his death, as 
well as his life, he glorified God. " It was," as his 
physician said, ^^ a glorious scene^ The event oc- 
curred on the 2d of December, 1832. 

Of his character we will let Dr. Wayland speak, 
'^ He was one of those pillars cf our Zion, which we 
thought could not be removed. Every one, and eve- 
ry thina" leaned upon him, and no one felt that fte 

( 210 ) 

would soon change. A chasm has been made^ which 
I do not expect soon, if ever, to see filled. A standard 
bearer has fallen ; who shall take his place? Since 
his death was mentioned to me, I have been striving 
to think of one who was of more value to the church 
as a layman. I could not think of one. I have thought 
of clergymen ; and the result was the same. I know 
of no man to fill up his place." His memory will long 
be cherished as a benefactor of the churches. 

Lewis Luxsford, in point of talents as a preacher., 
was never excelled in Virginia; and by many it isdoubt- 
ed whether he ever had a superior any where else. He 
was born in Stafford county. His parents being in 
indigent circumstances he received but a slender ed- 
ucation ; nor had he the means to enlarge it. But the 
God of nature furnished him with powers to surmount 
all obstacles. 

At an early stage of life he was happily arrested 
by Divine mercy. He was but a boy when baptized, 
but immediately began both in private and public to 
advocate the Gospel of Christ. His talents command- 
ed attention, and procured for him the appellation of 
the Wonderful Boy. 

It is hardly probable that any man was more belov- 
ed by a people than he. During the last several years 
of his life, he was much caressed and his preaching 
more valued than that of any other man's in Virginia. 
He was a sure preacher, and seldom failed to rise 
high. In his best strains, he was more like an angel 

( 211 ) 

than a man. His countenance lighted up by an inward 
flame, seemed to shed beams of light wherever he 
turned. His voice, always harmonious, now seemed 
to be tuned by descending seraphs. His style and 
manner were so energetic, that he seemed like an am- 
bassador indeed, sent down to command all men to 

This great, this good, this almost inimitable man 
died when only about forty years of age. It seemed 
to be a mystery to many why God should have called 
away one so useful in the bloom of life, though they 
were generally agreed that his popularity had risen 
too high, as the people wherever he was, or was ex- 
pected to be, appeared to have lost all relish for any 
other man's preaching. 

James Maknixg, D. D. The following inscription 
is from the monument which covers the dust of this 
departed worthy : " He was born in New Jersey, A. 
D. 1738; became a member of a Baptist church in 
1753; graduated at Nassau Hall, 1762; was ordained 
a minister of the Gospel, 1763 ; obtained a charter for 
the college, (R. I.) 1765, and was elected president 
of it in the same year; was a member of Congress 
1736. His person was graceful and his countenance 
remarkably expressive of sensibility, cheerfulness and 
dignity. The variety and excellence of his natural 
abilities, improved by education, and enriched by 
science, raised him to a rank of eminence among lite- 
rary characters. His manners were engaging, and his 
Toice harmonious. His eloquence, natural and pow^ 

(212 ) 

erfuL His social virtues, classic learning, eminent 
patriotisni) shining talents for instructing and govern- 
ing youth, and zeal in the cause of Christianity, are 
recorded on the tables of many hearts. "He died of 
apoplexy July 29, A. D. 1791, aged 53 years." 

Daniel Marshall. His birth was in 1706 in 
Windsor, Connecticut. When about 20 years of age 
he joined the Presbyterians, and first served as a dea- 
con in the church. At the age of thirty-eight, he 
heard Whitefield, caught some of his fire andcommen' 
ced a missionary tour to the Mohav;k Indians, among 
whom he labored eighteen months. When the war 
broke out among them, he renn-oved to Conegocheague, 
and thence to Winchester, Va. Here he was led to 
examine the sentiments of the Baptists, and upon the 
full conviction of duty was immersed in the 48th 
year of his life. After this he itinerated considerably 
and was made the instrument of bringing many from 
the power of Satan unto God. He died in Novem- 
ber, 1784, in the 78th year of his age. 

Silas Mercer was carefully instructed in the ca- 
techism, &c. of the Episcopal church. Until after his 
conversion he was most violently opposed to all dissen- 
ters, and to the Baptists in particular. He would on 
no account hear one preach, and endeavoured to dis- 
suade others from attending their meetings. But his 
ingenuous mind could not long be restrained by the 
shackles of tradition, and he began a course of inqui^ 
ries which led him from his traditionary, on to Bap* 

( 213 ) 

tist ground. In first resolving to follow strictly the 
discipline of the church, he found that it enjoined 
immersion, unless the weakness of the child requi- 
red a milder mode, and therefore had two of his chil- 
dren immersed. The first* in a barrel of water at the 
minister's house, and the other in a tub at the 
church. He labored for a time to reform the church, 
but finding the building too far gone to be repaired, 
he receded from it with reluctant steps, .and became a 
Baptist when about 30 years of age. 

Few men have had more severe conflicts in renounc- 
ing the prejudices of education than Mr. Mercer. 
His father threw in the way many obstacles, and the 
whole Episcopal community around him, with the 
minister at the head, used the most assiduous endea- 
vors to prevent his going among the heretical Bap- 
tists. He went however by stealth to hear Mr. Thomas, 
and found him to be not such a dangerous deceiver as he 
had been led to suppose. When his father found that 
he had been at the Baptist meetings he burst into tears 
and exclaimed, "Silas you are ruined." Shortly af- 
ter this he removed to Georgia, was baptized and uni- 
ted with the Kioka Church, by which he was soon 
called to preach. In this state he labored abund- 
antly and successfully and was justly esteemed one of 
the most exemplary and useful ministers in the south- 
ern states. 

*Hi3 son Jesse, now a worthy Baptist minister in Geor- 

( 214 ) 

Sajiuel Peakce. The memoirs of this saint of God 
were written by A. Fuller, and are in the estimation 
of many, the best ever presented to the public. They 
may be obtained in a cheap form, at the Baptist Gen- 
eral Tract Society's Depository. 

"We have sometimes read, and sometimes heard of 
a few such men as Mr. Pearce; but it is so rare a 
thing to see so much real excellence embodied in a 
living character, that some have even doubted whe- 
ther these memoirs exhibit a correct and impartial 
delineation. Those, however, who were best acquaint- 
ed with Mr. Pearce, have the most ample assurance 
that a truer description was never given of any man, 
than is to be found in the pages of this interesting 
work. Partiality did nothing; it added no flattery to 
the portrait, gave no coloring to a faded countenance, 
nor concealed any of its defects. 

Sa^iuel Stillman D. D. was born in Philadelphia. 
When about eleven years of age he removed with his 
parents to Charleston, South Carolina, where he re- 
ceived the rudiments of his education, and exhibited 
such improvements as presaged his future worth. He^ 
was impressed with divine things at an early age. Af- 
ter finishing his classical education, he spent one year 
in tlie study of divinity with Mr. Hart. His first ser- 
mon was preached in 1758, and in 1759, he was or- 
dained. In 1765 he was[inslalled pastor of the First 
Church of Boston, with v*hich he remained until his 

As a minister of Christ his praise was in all the 

( 215 ) 

churches, and wherever his name has been heard, an 
uncommon degree of sanctity has been connected with 
it. As a public speaker and pulpit orator he was per= 
haps second to none. His eloquence was of the pow= 
erful and impressive, rather than of the insinuating 
and persuasive kind, and so strikingly interesting, 
that he never preached to an inattentive audience. 

The University of Cambridge conferred on him the 
honorary degree of Master of Arts, in 1761, and the 
College of Rhode Island in 1788, gave him a diploma 
of Doctor of Divinity. 

Roger Williams, was a native of Wales, born in 
the year 1598, and had a liberal education under the 
patronage of Sir Edward Coke. Mr. Williams soon 
entered on the study of the law with this celebrated 
man; but finding it uncongenial with his taste he 
turned his attention to divinity, in which he made 
such proficiency that Sir Edward obtained for him 
Episcopal orders. Embracing the sentiments of the 
Puritans, he was exposed to such suffering as induced 
him to embark for America, where he arrived in 
February, 1631. Here he continued to preach with 
acceptance, until he broached what were called ana- 
baptistical errors, when he suffered persecution again, 
was banished in the depth of winter, but found a home 
among the Indians. He died in 1682, aged 84 years. 

The most we will present concerning this great 
man, will be extracted from Bancroft's History of the 
United States, vol. 1 — Mr. B. styled him the Apostle 

(216 ) 

of "■ intellectual liberty" and the " Apostle of soul 

After noticing his arrival in this country, he says, 
*' He was tbea but a little more than 30 years of age; 
but his mind had already matured a doctrine, which 
secures him an immortality of fame, as its application 
has given religious peace to the American world. He 
was a Puritan, and a fugitive from English persecu- 
tion, but his wrongs had not clouded his accurate un- 
derstanding; in the capacious recesses of his mind he 
had revolved the nature of intolerance, and he, and 
he alone, had arrived at the great principle which is 
its sole effectual remedy. He announced his disco- 
very under the simple proposition of the sanctity of 
conscience. The civil magistrate should restrain 
crime, but never control opinion; should punish guilt, 
but never violate the freedom of the soul." 

" At a time when Germany was the battle field for 
all Europe in the implacable wars of religion, when 
even Holland was bleeding with the anger of venge- 
ful factions, when France was to go through the fear- 
ful struggle with bigotry, when England was gasping 
under the despotism of intolerance, more than forty 
years before William Pcnn became an American pro- 
prietary, Roger Williams, asserted the great doctrine 
of intellectual liberty. It became his glory to form 
a state upon that principle, and to stamp himself 
upon its rising institutions, in characters so deep 
that the impress has remained to the present day, and, 
like the image of Phidias upon the shield of Minerva, 

(217 ) 

can never be erased without the total destruction of 
the work. He was the first person in modern Christ- 
endom, to assert in its plenitude the doctrine of the 
liberty of conscience, the equality of opinions before 
the law, and in its defence he was the harbinger of 
Milton, the precursor and the superior of Jeremy 
Taylor. For Taylor limited his toleration to a few. 
Christian sects; the philanthropy of Williams com- 
passed the earth. Taylor favored partial reform, com- 
mended lenity, argued for forbearance, and entered a 
special plea in behalf of each tolerable sect; Williams 
would permit persecution of no opinix)n, of no religion, 
leaving heresy unharmed by law, and orthodoxy unpro- 
tected by the terrors of penal statutes. Taylor still 
clung to the necessity of positive regulations enforc- 
ing religion and eradicating error; he resembled the 
poets who in their folly, first declare their hero to be 
invulnerable and then clothe him in earthly armor ; 
Williams was willing to leave Truth alone, in her own 
panoply of light, believing that if in the ancient feud 
between Truth and Error, the employment of force 
could be entirely abrogated. Truth would have much 
the best of the bargain. It is the custom of mankind 
to award high honors to the successful inquirer into 
the laws of nature, to those who advance the bounds 
of human knowledge. We praise the man who firsi 
analyzed the air, or resolved water into its elements, 
or drew the lightning from the clouds, though the 
condition of physical investigation may have ripened 
the public mind at the time for the advancement in 


(218 ) 

science. A moral principle has a much wider and 
and nearer influence on human happiness; nor can 
any discovery of truth be of more direct benefit to 
society, than that which establishes a perpetual Teli- 
gious peace and spreads tranquility through every 
community and every bosom. If Copernicus is held 
in perpetual reverence, because on his death bed he 
published to the world that the Sun is the centre of 
our system, if the name of Kepler is preserved in the 
annals of human excellence for his sagacity in detec- 
ting the laws of the plaretary motion; if the genius 
of Newton has been almost adored for dissecting a 
ray of light, and weighing heavenly bodies as in a 
balance, let there be for the name of Roger Williams 
at least some humble place among those who have 
advanced moral science and made themselves the 
benefactors of mankind." 

" The annals of Rhode Island if written in the spirit 
of philosophy, would exhibit the forms of society un- 
der a peculiar aspect; had the territory of the state 
corresponded to the importance and singularity of the 
principles of its early existence, the world would 
have been filled with wonder at the phenomena of its 

*'The most touching trait in the character of the 
founder of Rhode Island was his conduct towards his 
persecutors. Though keenly sensitive to the hard- 
ships which he had endured, he was far from harbor- 
ing feelings of revenge towards those who banished 
him, and only regretted their delusion. In all bis 

( 219 ) 

^writings on the subject, he attacked the spirit of in- 
tolerance, the doctrine of persecution; and never his 
persecutors or the Colony of Massachusetts." 

The Indians at one time conceived the purpose of 
destroying the English, and " the design could be 
frustrated by none but Roger Williams, and the exile, 
who had been the first to communicate to the Gover- 
nor of Massachusetts the news of the impending 
conspiracy, encountered the extremity of peril with 
magnanimous heroism. Having received letters from 
Vane and the council of Massachusetts, requesting his 
utmost and speediest endeavors to prevent the league, 
neither storms of wind nor high seas could detain the 
adventurous envoy. Shipping himself alone in a poor 
canoe, every moment at the hazard of his life, he 
hastened to the house of the Sachem of the Narra- 
gansetts. The Pequod ambassadors reeking with 
blood were already there; and for three days and nights 
the business compelled him to lodge and mix with 
them ; having cause every night to expect their knives 
at his throat. The Narragansetts were wavering; 
but Roger Williams succeeded in dissolving the 
formidable conspiracy. It was the most intrepid and 
most successful achievement in the whole Pequod 
war; an action, as perilous in its execution, as it was 
fortunate in its issue." 

The principles of Roger Williams are more correct 
and glorious than those of the colony of Maryland. 
The litter had by their charter tolerated all religious 
sects. In 1639 however, thev secured in the session 

( 220 ) 

of the Legislature, their own rights and liberties, 
though no more than the tranquil exercise of the Ro- 
mish worship. In 1649, an act for the religious free- 
dom, which had ever been sacred on their soil, was 
placed upon their statute book. *' The clause for li- 
berty in Maryland extended only to Christians." A 
blasphemer, or one who denied Christ's divinity, or 
the Trinity &c., was to be punished with death. The 
reader is left to his own reflections upon the differ- 

To Roger Williams as a Legislator, belongs the 
honor of first asserting the doctrine o( liberty of con- 
science in matters of religion — of first acknowledg- 
ing the right of the Indians to the soil, in preference 
to any foreign monarch or government, ( though 
through ignorance it has been by many awarded to 
William Penn,) and as a Baptist, of establishing 
the First Baptist church in the new world. 

We cannot extend our biographical department 
farther, however interesting it might bo, and in clos- 
ing it we shall just present the names of a few others 
who have been honorable and useful in the church; 
Baldwin, Furman, Harris, Hart, Holcombe, Lane, Ro- 
gers, Semple, Staughton, Stanford, Thurston, Thomas, 
and Waller. To these we may add those of Boardman, 
Ward, Rippon, Rostan, Hughes, Mrs. Judson, Mrs. 
Jones, and Mrs. Malcom. 

( 221 ) 


A full account of the persecutions, suffered by the 
Baptisi-s in foreign nations and our own country, 
would fill a large volume. This Ctiapter wilfbe con- 
fined to those endured in America, and of those, but 
a few only can be given. 

The following, is the act passed by the General 
Court of Massachusetts, in 164-1, for the suppression 
of the obnoxious Baptists. 

"For as much as experience hath plentifully and 
often proved, that since the first rising of the Ana- 
baptists, about one hundred years since, they have 
been the incendiaries of commonweahhs, and the 
infectors of persons in main rnatters of religion, and 
the troublers of all places where they have been, and 
that they, who have held the baptizing of infants un- 
lawful, have usually held other errors or heresies 
therewith, though they have (as other heretics use to 
do) concealed the same, till they spied out a fit ad- 
vantage and opportunity to vent them, by way of 
question or scruple; and whereas divers of this kind 
have, since our coming into New England, appeared 
amongst ourselves, some whereof (as others before 
them) denied the ordinance of Magistracy, and the 
lawfulness of making war, and others the lawfulness of 

oaagistrates, and their inspection into any breach of the 

( 222 ) 

first table; which opinions, if they should be connived 
at by us, are like to be increased amongst us, and so 
must necessarily bring guilt upon us, infection and 
trouble to the churches, and hazard to the whole com- 
monwealth; it is ordered and agreed, that if any per- 
sons, within this jurisdiction, shall either openly con- 
demn or oppose the baptizing of infants, or go about 
secretly to seduce others from the approbation or use 
thereof, or shall purposely depart the congregation at 
the ministration of the ordinance, or shall deny the 
ordinance of magistracy, or their lawful right and 
authority to make war, or to punish the outward 
breaches of the first table, and shall appear to the 
Court wilfully and obstinately to continue therein af- 
ter due time and means of conviction, every such per- 
son or persons, shall be sentenced ic banishment.^* 

Two charges which this act contains are true; the 
denial of infant baptism, and the ordinance of ma- 
gistracy; or as a Baptist would express it, the use of 
secular force in religious affairs; the others are with- 
out foundation. And Mr. Backus after a diligent 
search, could find no instance of any real Baptists in 
Massachusetts being convicted of, or suffering for 
any crime, except the denying of infant baptism, and 
the use of secular force in religious affairs. 

Mr. Hubbard, one of their own historians, informs 
us, that, "at a General Court in March 1645, a peti- 
tion was preferred for suspending, (if not abolishing,) 
a law made against the Anabaptists the former year. 
Bijt some at this time, were much afraid of the in- 

( 223 ) 

crease of Anabaptism. This was the reason, why the 
greater part prevailed for the strict observation of the 
law, although perad venture a little moderation as to 
some things, might have done very well, if not a lit- 
tU better." 

In 1644, we are told by Mr. Hubbard, that a poor 
man by the name of Painter, having a child born, 
would not suffer his wife to carry it to be baptized. 
He was complained of to the Court, and enjoined by 
ihem to suffer his child to be baptized. But, poor 
Painter had the misfortune to dissent boih from the 
church and court. He told them that infant baptism 
was an anti-christian ordinance, for which he was 
tied up and whipt. Governor Winthrop tells us, he 
belonged to Hingham, and says, he was whipt, "for 
reproaching the Lord's ordinance. Mr. Backus judi- 
ciously inquires," did not they vvho whipt this poor 
conscientious man, reproach infant sprinkling by tak- 
ing such methods to support it, more than Painter 

Remonstrances were offered again and again, but 
disregarded. And, lest the exterminatinglaws should 
fail, the press was set to work to prevent the progress 
of error. In 1645, three pieces were written for 
this purpose, by Messrs. Cotton of Boston, Cobbett 
of Lynn, and Ward of Ipswich. 

Mr. Cotton Gays, Satan despairing of success by 
more powerful arguments ''chooseth rather to play 
small game, as they say, than lose all. He now 
pleadeth no other argument, than^may be urged from 

( 224 ) 

a main principle of purity and reformation, viz. That 
no duty of God's worship, nor any ordinance of reli- 
gion, is to be administered in the church, but such 
as hath just warrant from the word of God. And in 
urging this argument against the baptism of child-* 
ren, Satan transformeth himself into an angel of light,'* 
and so on. 

Mr. Cobbett, accuses Satan of having a special spite 
at the seed of the church. He says, *' it is one of 
Satan's old tricks to create scruples in the hearts of 
God's people about infant baptism." 

Mr. Ward, does not so much blame Satan, but ac- 
cuses the Baptists of a " high pitch of boldness, in 
cutting a principal ordinance out of the Kingdom of 
God," and of ^ ^dislocating^ disgooding, unhallow- 
ing, transplacing, and transtiming, a slated institution 
of JesusChrist." He further says, "what an inhuman- 
ity it is, to deprive parents of that comfort they may 
take from the baptism of their infants, dying in their 

Their successors, with a few exceptions, have made 
great im.provements in arguing the point; the Baptists 
none at all, for what was their main principle then, is 
their main principle now. Had the Pedo baptists of 
Massachusetts, assaulted them with no weapons more 
powerful than their pens, no fears would have been 
excited. But if the arguments of Divines, were 
weak and contemptible, thoseof the magistrates, were 
strong and cruel. 

In 1644, Roger Williams published his "Bloody 

( 225 ) 

Tenet," a piece intended to open the eyes of his old 
neighbors and associates, to the tendency of their 
maxitns. But all remonstrances were vain. In July 
1651, Messrs. Clark, Holmes and Crandal, were ar- 
rested by two constables with a warrant, while the 
first was preaching from Rev. Til. 10. at a private 
house, about two miles from Lynn. They were sent 
to the prison in Boston, when after about a fortnight 
they were sentenced, Mr. Clark to a fine of twenty 
pounds, Mr. Holmes of thirty, and Mr. Crandal, of 
five, or be publicly whipped. Some of Mr. Clark's 
friends, without his consent, paid his fine. Mr. Cran- 
dal was released, on condition of his appearing at the 
next Court. Mr. Holmes was kept in prison until 
vSeptember,vvhen the sentence of the law was executed 
upon him, in a cruel and unfeeling manner. His own 
account of his sufferings isgiven in Benedict's History, 
and is strongly expressive of ardent piety. Among 
other things he says, "as the man began to lay the 
strokes upon my back, I said to the people though my 
flesh and my spirit should fail, yet my God would not 
fail. As the strokes fell upon me, I had such a spiri- 
tual manifestation of God's presence, as the like 
thereof 1 never had nor felt, nor can with fleshly 
tongue express. When I was loosed from the post, 
having joyfulness in my heart, and cheerfulness in my 
countenance, I told the magistrates, you have struck 
me as with roses; and said moreover, although the 
Lord hath made it easy to me, yet I pray God it may 
not be laid to your charge." v 

( 226 ) 

In a manuscript of Governor Jenks, he says, " Mr. 
Holmes was whipped thirty stripes, and in such an 
unmerciful manner, that in many days, if not some 
weeks, he could take no rest but as he lay upon his 
knees and elbows." 

During the infliction of the sentence upon Mr. 
Holmes, some emotions of pity were elicited from the 
bystanders, and warrants were issued against thirteen 
persons for this crime. Two only w^ere apprehended, 
who were required to receive ten lashes, or pay forty 
shillings each. The latter they could not conscien- 
tiously do, and were preparing to receive the former, 
when some one witfiout their knowledge paid the fine. 
One of them was upwards of sixty years old, and died 
in a few days after he was released. 

The first church of Boston gave the rulers of Mas- 
sachusetts considerable employment for several years. 
For the " heinous offences, of forming a church with- 
out their permission, and meeting in their own hous- 
es to worship "they were incessantly stunned with the 
harangues of the priests and lawyers, and distressed, 
and ruined by courts, legislatures, forfeitures and 

In 1765, a church was organized in Haverhill, by 
Hezekiah Smith, D. D. a graduate of Princeton col- 
lege, and a companion of President Manning, and who 
*' as a preacher was equalled by few." He was at 
first treated with much rudeness, personally insulted, 
and his life endangered. On one evening, a beetle 
was cast at him in the street, and after he was in bed, 

( 227 ) 

a large stone was thrown through the window. His 
horse also was raaltreated, as many others had been 
that belonged to Baptist ministers. He was once as- 
saulted at a house ia Bradford, by a slierifF and his 

The Kingston Church, (Mass.) was formed in 1805, 
and for about six years, its members were annually 
harrassed for the support of the parish preacher. A 
number of them had their property attached, and sold 
at auction, and as late as 1810, one was dragged from 
his house, bound fast, and carried to prison. Until the 
year 1811, the most grievous and wanton treatment 
was suffered by them. 

In Connecticut, at one time, every man who opened 
his doors for a dissenter to preach, was liable to a fine 
of five pounds ; the preacher of ten shillings, and every 
hearer of five. Joshua Morse, a zealous and success- 
ful preacher, was during a number of years often op- 
posed by law and by mobs. In one of his meetings, 
a reverend gentlemen came in, put his hand on his 
mouth, and bid a companion to strike him. At ano- 
ther time, a man came in while he was preaching, and 
struck him with such violence on the temple, that it 
brought him to the floor. At another meeting, he was 
knocked dov/n while at prayer, seized by the hair, 
Jlragged down high steps to the ground, and so se- 
verely bruised in his head and face, that he carried 
some of the scars to his grave. 

In Virginia the clergy often attacked the Baptist 
preachers from the pulpit ; called them false prophets, 

( 228 ) 

Woives in sheepsclothing, and many other hard natnes 
equally slanderous. The magistrates and people also, 
were ready to embarrass these " over much righteous" 
Baptists. Outrageous mobs and individuals, frequent- 
ly assaulted and disturbed them. They were pulled 
down while preaching, and dragged out of doors in a 
barbarous manner. Snakes and hornet's nests were 
thrown in among them while at worship, and in some 
instances fire-arms were brought to disperse them. 

The first instance of actual imprisonment, we be- 
lieve, was in the county of Spottsylvania. In 1768, 
John Waller and others, were seized by the Sheriff, 
and bound in a penalty of one thousand pounds, to 
appear at court two days after. They were arraigned 
at the court as disturbers of the peace, and sent into 
a close prison, where they continued forty-three days. 
While in jail, they constantly preached through the 
grates to the people who would assemble near them. 

The preachers were often insulted during the time 
of the administration of baptism, by men riding into 
the water, and making sport for the multitude around. 
In a word, many seemed determined to treat the Bap- 
tists, with as much rudeness and indecency as possi- 

As they would preach from the prisons, some would 
be at the expense of erecting a high wall around them, 
and others would employ half drunken fellows to beat 
drums, &;c. to prevent the people from hearing. 
About thirty preachers, and some others, were ho- 
nored with a dungeon. Some of them were impri- 

( 229 ) 

soned lour times, besides all the mobs and perils they 
^7ent through. Their persecutions, however, so far 
from impeding, promoted their cause. The patient 
manner in which they suffered persecution, raised 
their reputation for piety and goodness. Their num- 
ber? increased in a surprising degree. They were so 
fortunate in their attempts to obtain liberty of con- 
science, as to enlist in their behalf the celebrated 
Patrick Henry, in whom they ever found an unwa- 
vering friend. Through his exertions, and the efforts 
of others, they were eventually delivered from their 
oppjression, and allowed to worship God without mo- 

From this sketch of the persecutions endured by 
the denomination, in this country, together with 
those of our brethren in other nations, we can but 
consider the Baptists as occupying the front rank in 
the noble army of those who have suffered for the 
truth's sake. And if the fires be rekindled, we may be 
assured that our principles, as they have ever done, 
will expose their possessors to the hottest of the 


Tkts chapter will present a few incidents in the 
history of the Baptists, which will, we hope, prove in- 
teresting to the reader. 

( 230 ) 

Samuel Heaton was bred a Pedo-baptist. Whilst he 
resided in New Jersey he had a son born, whom he 
was very anxious to have christened by the Rev. 
Samuel Sweesy, a Presbyterian minister of the sepa- 
rate order ; to which christening his wife objected, 
adding, "if you will show me a text that warrants 
christening a child, 1 will take him to Mr. Sweesy." 
Mr. H. offered several texts, but the wife would not 
admit that infant baptism was in any of them. He 
consulted Mr. Sweesy, who owned there was no text 
which directly proved the point, but that it was prove- 
able from many texts. This chagrined Mr. II., as he 
had never doubted that infant baptism was a Gospel 
ordinance. He went home with a resolution to act 
the part of tlie noble Bereans, and soon met with con- 
victions ; after which he went to Kingwood, and was 
baptized by Mr. Bonham. 

" This transaction coming to the knowledge of Ro- 
bert Calver, a Rogerene Baptist, induced him to pub- 
lish an advertisement in the newspaper, offering 
twenty dollars reward to any that would produce a text 
to prove infant baptism. Rev. Samuel Ilarker took 
him up, and carried a text to the advertiser. Calver 
would not allow that infant baptism was in it ; Ilarkcr 
sued him, but was cast and had the court charges to 
pay. After that, Mr. C. published another advertise- 
ment offering a reward of forty dollars for such a 
text, but none took him up, as Mr. H's. attempt 

" Infant baptism has been ten thousand times con- 

( 231 ) 

demned by argument, bul this is probably the first 
tiaie it was ever condemned in a_court of law." 

In 1765, one Allen Wiley of Culpepper, hearing of 
the Separate Baptists, travelled into Pittsylvania to 
get one or more of them to preach in his county. He 
providentially fell in with one of Mr. Harris's meet- 
ings. When he came into the meeting house, Mr. H. 
fixed his eyes upon him under the impression that he 
had some extraordinary message, and asked him 
whence he came, <k:c. Mr. W. told him his errand, upon 
which after some deliberation, believing him to be 
sent of God, Mr. H. agreed to go. Taking three days 
to prepare, he set out with AYiley, exhorting and 
praying at every house. 

Arriving in Culpepper, his first meeting was at 
Wiley's own house. He preached for some time with 
success, although he met with much opposition. He 
returned home, but in the year 1766, three persons 
travelled to Mr. H's. house, in order to procure his 
services in Orange and the adjacent parts, to preach 
and baptize new converts. They found that he had 
not been ordained to the administration of the ordi- 
nances. To remedy this inconvenience he went 
with them about 60 miles into North Carolina, to get 
James Read, who was ordained. 

There is something singular in the exercise of 
Mr. Read about this time. He was impressed with an 
opinion, that he had frequent teaching from God :and 
indeed from the account given by himself, we must 

( 232 ) 

cither doubt his veracity or admit that his impressions 
were supernatural. He declares that respecting his 
preaching in Virginia, for many weeks he had no rest 
in his spirit. Asleep or awake, he felt his soul ear- 
nestly impressed with strong desires to go to Virgi- 
nia to preach the Gospel. In his dreams he tho'.ight 
that God would often shew large congregations of 
Virginians assembled to hear preaching. He was 
sometimes heard by his family to cry out in his sleep, 
" O Virginia, Virginia, Virginia!" Mr. Graves, a 
member of his church, a good man, discovering his 
anxiety, and believing nis impressions to be from God 
offered to accompany him. Just as they were prepa- 
ring to set out, Mr. Harris and the three messengers 
mentioned above, came for him to go with them. The 
circumstances so much resemble Peter's call from 
Joppa to Caesarea, that we can hardly for a moment 
hesitate in placing implicit confidence in its being a 
contrivance of Divine wisdom. 

In Exol and Piscataway, where John Walter preach- 
ed, great congregations attended, while very few went 
to the parish churches. The zealots for the old order 
were greatly embarrassed. Sometimes the rector of 
the parish would give notice that on a certain day, 
" he would prove the Baptists deceivers, and their 
doctrines false." The attempt was frequently made, 
but the churchmen uniformly injured their cause. 
Their arguments were generally drawn from the ex- 
travagancies of the German Ana-baptists. To this 

( 233 ) 

the Baptists replied " that they disclaimed all connec- 
tion with the Ana-baptists, and felt themselves no 
more responsible for their irregularities, than the 
Episcopalians could feel for the fooleries of the Pa- 
pists, that the Bible was their criterion, and by that 
they were willing to stand or fall." Not unfrequent- 
ly their leading men would attend the Baptist meet- 
ings, and would enter into arguments with the preach- 
ers. They insisted that their church was the oldest, 
and consequently the best, and that the Baptists were 
wolves in sheep's clothing. 

To these arguments Waller and the other preachers 
boldly and readily replied, that if they were wolves 
in sheep's clothing, and their opponents were true 
sheep, it was quite unaccountable that they were per- 
secuted and cast into prison. It is well known that 
wolves would destroy csheep, but never till then that 
sheep would prey upon wolves. They added that 
their coming might indeed, interrupt their peace, but 
certainly if it did, it must be a false peace bordering 
on destruction, and to arouse them from this lethargy 
was like waking a man whose house was burning 
over him. 

Mr. Nicholas Bedgegood came from England to 
America, in 1751, and was for some time, Mr. White- 
field's agent in the Orphan House, for which employ- 
ment he was well qualified, as he had received a classi- 
cal education and had in his younger days studied law 

three years. He was brought up an Episcopalian, 

( 234 ) 

but embraced the sentiments of the Baptists a few 
years after he came to America, and was baptized at 
Charleston, by the Rev. Oliver Hart. The means of 
determining his suspense about the validity of infant 
baptism, was a sermon by Dr. Watts, intended to es- 
tablish the point. He concluded that the Dr. had said 
the best that could be said on the subject, and if so, 
he saw that the best only proves that, sprinkling child- 
ren is an unscriptural practice. 

James Fowler was an eminent minister in South 
Carolina. Part of his history is as follows; Some time 
previous to the year 1789, he and two other men by 
the name of Rogers, were pursuing the same occupa- 
tion, in a situation, remote from any of the Baptist 
denomination. They were brought up Presbyterians, 
and emigrated hither from one of the northern states. 
Their minds were awakened to religious concerns, and 
regardless of the traditions of their fathers they took 
the bible for their creed, and from it according to the 
best of their understanding, they formed a religious 
system of their own. They at length heard of a Bap- 
tist preacher, who lived about 20 or 30 miles from 
them, and to him they delegated one of their number, 
to ascertain how far his religious tenets and theirs 
would agree. When the messenger returned, he in- 
formed them that the minister's principles and theirs 
were exactly alike, and that lie had a large church of 
the same mind. Having thus found a people with 
whom they could associate in the communion of saints, 

( 235 ) 

they immediately repaired to them, were baptizedy 
and admitted into their community. 

A pleasant anecdote is related of one of the con- 
verts in a revival which took place in South Carolina. 

A Mr. F , who had been famous for hilarity and 

worldly amusement, was brought under concern of 
mind- His associates were very unwilling to give 
him up, and tried various methods to divert his atten- 
tion from what they termed a needless anxiety, but all 
their eflbrts proved ineffectual. At length they con- 
trived a shooting match, and as Mr. F. valued him- 
self on his skill with the rifle, they hid a considerable 
wager against him, and doubted not but their plan 
would succeed. Two gentlemen, waited on him with 
much gravity, and explained to him the object of their 
visit. He saw at once through their design, he hesi- 
tated at first, but on the whole manifested a willing- 
ness to exert his skill, provided they would let him 
use his own rifle, and load it himself. This they 
deemed very reasonable, and seemed much pleased 
that they had obtained his consent. Mr. F. then 
stepped up to his book case, and taking down his 
Bible said, " This is my rifle." Then turning to Acts 
XHI. 10, he handed his Bible to one of the men and 
said, " There is my load." The astonished gentleman 
read as follows: "O full of all subtilty and all mischief,, 
thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteous- 
ness! wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways 
of the Lord?" Conviction from that time fastened 

( 236 ) 

on his mind, his brother also and both of their wives 
were convicted, and in a short time were hopefully con- 
verted, and united with the tempted but faithful man 
in a profession of religion. This was called F's buck 

Mr. Botsford while he labored in Georgia, was once 
travelling to the Kioka, where he had appointed to 
preach, and being unacquainted with the way he call- 
ed at a Mr. Savidge's to make some inquiries. Mr. 
S. was then a bigoted churchman, but was hopefully 
acquainted with the truth. After the proper directions 
had been given, the following conversation ensued: 
"I suppose you are the Baptist minister who is to 
preach to-day at the Kioka." "Yes sir, will you go?" 
"No, I am not fond of the Baptists; they think nobody 
is baptized but themselves." "Have you been baptiz- 
ed?" "Yes to be sure." "How do you know." "How 
do I know? why my parenis have told me I was." 
"Then you do not know only by information." Mr. 
Botsford then left him, but "How do you know?" 
haunted him, till he became convinced of his duty. 
He was baptized by Mr. Marshall, and began to preach 
on the same day he was baptized. Botsford's " How 
do you know?" says Mr. Savidge, first set me to. think- 
ing about baptism. 

In the parts of Georgia where Mr. Botsford labored, 
the inhabitants were a mixed multitude of emigrants 
from many different places, most of whom were "des- 
titute of any form of religion, and the few who paid 

( 237 ) 

any regard to it were zealous churchmen and Luther- 
ans, and violently opposed to the Baptists. In the 
same journey in which he fell in with Mr. Savidge, 
he preached at the court house in Burk County. The 
assembly at first paid a decent attention; but towards 
the close of the sermon, one of them with a great oath 
cried out, the rum is come." Out he rushed, others 
followed, the^assembly was soon, left small, and by the 
time Mr. B. got out to his horse, he had the unhappi- 
ness to find many of his hearers intoxicated and fight- 
ing. An old gentleman went up to him, took his horse 
by the bridle, and in his profane dialect most high- 
ly extolled him and his discourse, and swore he must 
come and preach in his neighborhood. It was then 
no time to reason or reprove, and as preaching was 
Mr. B's business, he accepted the old man's invita- 
tion and made an appointment. His first sermon was 
blessed to the awakening of the old man's v/ife, one 
of his sons also became religious, and fifteen others, 
were brought to the knowledge of the truth. The 
old man himself became sober and attentive to relig- 
ion, although he never made a public profession of it. 

Mr. Button Lane was once preaching at a place call- 
ed Meherrin, in Maryland, when Mr. Joseph V/illiams 
a magistrate, charged him before the whole congre- 
gation not to come there to preach again. Mr. Lane 
mildly replied, as there were other places where he 
could preach without interruption he did not know 
that he should come there ajrain shortly. After wish- 

( 233 ) 

ing peace to ihe rest of the co.npany, he gravely ad- 
dressed Mr. Williflms and said, "Little Sir as you 
now think it, my impressions tell me that you will be- 
come a Baptist, a warm espouser of that cause which 
you now persecute." This prediction was fulfilled, 
for in about twelve years, Mr. W. was baptized and 
' became a zealous member and useful deacon in the 
church, that was afterwards formed in that place. 

One William Locker had conceived such malignity 
against the Baptists, that he was accustcmcd to say 
that he would rather go to Hell than to Heaven, if 
going to Heaven required him to be a Baptist. But 
accidentally going into the place whore Mr. Lano 
was preaching, he was struck down with deep con- 
viction, from which being delivered by converting 
grace, he became a pious Baptist. 

After Mr. John Gano had preached at a certain 
time in a notoriously wicked place in Virginia, two 
young fellows supposing he had levelled his censures 
against them, came up and dared him to fight them. 
" That is not the way," said he " in which I defend 
my sentiments, but if you choose it, I will fight you 
either both at once, or one after the other, but as I 
have to preach again very soon, I shall wish to put it 
off till after meeting." To this proposal the young 
men agreed. When the meeting was closed, Mr. G. 
told them he was ready to fight them. The eyes of 
all were fixed upon the presumptuous youths, yet they 
had the hardihood to present themselves for the com- 

( 239 ) 

bat. " If," said he, " I must fight you, I shall choose 
to do it in a more retired place, and not before all 
these people." With that he walked off and bid the 
young men follow him. He then commenced the 
attack in the following manner ; " young gentlemen, 
you ought to be ashamed of your conduct ; what rea- 
son have you to suppose that I had a particular re- 
ference 4o you? I am an entire stranger here, and 
know not the names or characters of any. You have 
proved by your conduct, that you are guilty of the 
vices which I have censured, and if you feel so much 
disturbed at my reproofs, how will you stand before 
the bar of God /^^ " I beg your pardon," said one, 
" I beg your pardon, I am sorry," said the other. " If 
you are beaten, gentlemen, we will go back," and 
thus ended the battle. 

While this singular man resided in New York, he 
was introduced to a young lady as the only daughter 

of Esquire W . "Ah !" replied he, " and I can 

tell a good match for her, and he is an only son." The 
young lady understood his meaning, and was not long 
after united to this son, and has for forty years been 
an ornament to his cause. 

Shubael Stearns preached at Sandy Creek, in North 
Carolina. Many stories have been told respecting the 
enchantments of his eyes and voice, of which we will 
give two. The subjects of them became Baptist min- 

•' When the fame of Mr. Stearns' preaching, (said 

( 240 ) 

Mr. Lane) had reached the Yadkin, I felt a curiosity 
to go and see him. Upon my arrival, I saw a venera- 
ble old man sitting under a peach tree with a book in 
his hand, and the people gathering about him. He 
immediately fixed his eyes upon me, which made me 
feel in such a manner as 1 had never before felt. I 
turned to quit the place, but could not proceed far. I 
walked about, sometimes catching his eye as I walk- 
ed. My uneasiness increased, and became intolera- 
ble. I went up^to him, thinking that a salutation and 
shaking hands would relieve me, but it happened 
otherwise. I began to think that he had an evil eye 
and ought to be shunned, but this I could no more ef- 
fect than a bird could shun a rattlesnake when it fix- 
03 its eyes upon it. When he began to preach, my 
perturbations increased, so that nature could no long- 
er support them, and I sank to the ground." 

" Elnathan Davis had heard, that one John Stew- 
ard was to be baptized on a certain day by Mr. 
Stearns. Stewart being a very large man, and Stearns 
of small stature, Davis concluded there would be 
some diversion if not drowning, therefore he gather- 
ed about eight or ten of his companions in wicked' 
ness, and went to the spot. Mr. Stearns came and 
began to preach. EInathan was no sooner among the 
crowd, than he perceived some of the people tremble 
as in a fit of the ague; he felt and examined them, in 
order to find if it was not dissimulation. EInathan, 
perceiving that one man leaning on his shoulder and 
weeping, had wet his new vAnUj coat, pushed him off 

( 241 ) 

and ran to his companions who were sitting on a log 
at a distance. When he came, one said, " well Elna- 
than what do you now think of these people?" af- 
fixing to them a profane and reproachful epithet. He 
replied " there is a trembling and crying spirit among 
them, but whether it be the Spirit of God or the de- 
Til, 1 don't know ; if it be the devil, the devil go with 
them, for I will never more venture myself among 
them." He stood awhile in that resolution, but the en- 
chantment of Stearns' v«ice drew him into the crowd 
once more. He had not been long there, before the 
trembling seized him also, he attempted to withdraw, 
but his strength failing and his understanding being 
confounded, he with many others fell to the ground. 
His dread and anxiety bordered on horror. He con- 
tinued in this situation some days, and then found 
relief in Christ. 

John Waller was born in Spotsylvania. As he grew 
up he addicted himself to all manrier of vice, so thut 
he acquired for himself the appellalion of swearing 
Jack Waller. It v/as frequently remarked by Ihc 
common people that there could be no deviltry amon^ 
the people, unless swearing Jack was at th« heail of 
it. He v/as sometimes called the devil's afijatarit to 
muster his troops. To his other vices, may 4>e added 
his fury against the Baptists. He was one of the 
grand jury which presented Louis Craig for preaching. 
Mr. Crdig, at the dismissior^ of the jury, addressed 
tbem affectionately. From this time he atteadecJ 

( 242 ) 

the Baptist meetings, where he saw and felt that he 
was a sinner. Then for the first time, except in blas- 
phemy, he began to call upon the name of the Lord. 
His convictions were deep and pungent for about 
eight months, when he found peace in believing on a 
crucified Redeemer; soon after which he was bapti- 
zed and began to preach that men every where ought 
to repent. 

A few years since, a lady residing in the interior of 
Pennsylvania, a member of a Pedo-baptist church, in 
a conversation with her sister, who was a Baptist, de- 
clared among other things, "when you can remove 
yon mountain and place it where that creek runs, you 
may see me a Baptist, and not till then : I will go to the 
slake or the flames, before I will give up the privi- 
lege of having my infants baptized." She was led, 
however, to examine the subject more closely, and in 
a few months, in the presence of most of the church 
she left, was baptized and admitted into the Baptist 
church. In my subsequent visits to that neighbor- 
hood, T found the mountain and creek in their accus- 
tomed places, and Mrs. , a Baptist. 

In A county. Pa. is a Baptist church, in the 

constitution of which I assisted, and for which I 
preached and administered the ordinances for one 
year, in the face of considerable opposition. Subse- 
quent to this, the P minister, justly fearing that 

some of his flock would desert, thought it expedient 
to indoctrinate them thoroughly, both by preaching 

(243 ) 

and private conversation. In a visit to an official 
member of Ills church, he remarked that, he supposed 
he understood and was able to defend infant baptism. 
Oh ! yes. Suppose then I take the Baptist side of 
the question, and see tiovv well you can defend your 
positions. The proposition was agreed to, and a de- 
bate ensued, which resulted in a perceptible diminu- 
lion of the member's confidence. The minister, 
alarmed, undertook himself the defence, and urged 
the necessity of a further examination of the subject. 
The subject was examined, and (as in innumerable 
other cases,) the conclusion was that tiie man and his 
wife became Baptists. Others, also, followed their 


This chapter will close the work, and will be de- 
voted to a variety of articles, intended to set forth the 
sentiments and operations of our denomination. 

Principles. — VVe are happy to have found in the 
"Triennial Register," a well written article on this 
subject, which at the suggestion of a friend wc in- 
sert. It formed originally, a part of the circular let- 
ter of the Midland Association, (England,) and was 
written in 1832. 

It is an important fact *' that liberal and indepen- 
dent principles, with a devoted opposition to every spe- 

(244 ) 

cies of usurpation over the conscience and religion of 
man, whether arising from Pope or King, generally cha- 
racterised the Baptists, and for this they suffered. Such 
principles were avowed by the Redeemer himself; they 
are essentially connected with the history now under 
consideration, and emitienlly distinguish the Baptist 
denomination at the present period. Dr. Mosheim,a 
Lutheran divine, who wrote a valuable work on Church 
history, states that the following position was main- 
tained by the ancient Waldensesr "That the king- 
dom of Christ, or the visible church he had establish- 
ed upon earth, was an assembly of real saints, and 
ought therefore to he inaccessible to the wicked and 
unrighteous, and also exempt from all those institu- 
tutions which human prudence suggests to oppose the 
progress of iniquity, or to correct and transform trans- 
gressors." " This principle," s?.ys Mosheim, " is the 
true source of all the peculiarities that are to be found 
in the religious doctrines and discipline of the Bap- 
tists in Holland ;*' and I may add, of the Baptists in 
every part of the world at this moment. Thus, then, we 
are connected with the ancient confessors, not only in 
agreement of opinion on the subject of baptism, but in 
rational and enlightened views of the rights of men, aftd 
the claims of God. It is the privilege of man to investi- 
gate truth for himself; "Judge ye what is right," said the 
Saviour : God therefore does not exercise his author- 
ity in arbitrary dictation over the judgment and con- 
science of man, but appeals to the reasoning faculty 
of his creatures for Ihc truth and justice of his claims. 

( 245 ) 

Doctrines and ordinances have to be examined, and 
the appeal is to the intelligence of accountable be- 
ings. On this the Baptists of ancient times rested 
their arguments in opposing legalised and established 
opinions. They maintained that man cannot be born in- 
to a system of faith, nor surrendered in infancy or age 
to a form of religion, but may assert his right to judge 
for himself; to examine and decide, under the lofty 
conviction that God has not made him a slave. They 
acknowledged no clerical or secular domination, but 
scorned with becoming indignation every attempt to 
subdue reason, by enforcing the dogmas of a party, 
and held, with determined fidelity, the high vantage 
ground assigned them by their Creator. 

From those ancients we boast our descent, for Me 
inherit their principles — principles which, from tlie 
high authority which sanctioned them, and the sacred 
channels through which they have been transmitted, 
are commended to the christian feeli ng and enlightened 
judgment of all who bear the Christian naaie ; princi- 
ples which are venerable for their antiquity, and, hav- 
ing passed through many regions, and survived innu- 
merable perils, come to us associated with all that is 
pure and triumphant in the history of the church — 
with the names of apostles, of confessors, of martyrs ; 
and from us they are to travel down to that Millenni- 
um day, when truth will sway its sceptre over the 
millions of the regenerated creation. 

In the constitution of a Baptist church, conversioa 
is essential to membership; for no child can be born 

( 240 ) 

a Baptist, and no adult can be admitted to communion 
until the Christian character is formed ; membership 
is then matter of choice. This unfettered freedom of 
judgment and will, exists in the appointment of ©ffi- 
cers, and in the modes and seasons of public worship. 
With these things no external power can interfere, 
no general standard is recognised ; so that a wide dif- 
ference is perceivable between the Baptists and the 
churches of Rome and England. The whole appara- 
tus of a systematic priesthood; of catechisms, creeds, 
and books of prayer; of laws and formularies, formed 
for the very purpose of trampling on the right of in- 
dividual judgment; together with the acts of unifor- 
mity and courts of Inquisition, which religious des- 
])otism had formed, have always been regarded by 
Baptists as an unhallowed innovation on the intellec- 
tual and moral property of man. Against such innova- 
tions they always loudly protested, and still protest." 

The denomination at large maybe said to hold that, 
man is a totally depraved ^jreature, and that unless he 
be born again, and live a holy life, he is unfit for the 
communion of saints on earthy or in Heaven ; that 
tiiere is an election of Grace, effectual calling, <kc. that 
the saints shall be kept unto life eternal, and that the 
happiness of the righteous, and the misery of the 
wicked, will be everlasting. That each church is in- 
dependent of any and all ethers, <&c. 

*' Why," we may then ask, " were the Baptists so 
cruelly treated in every age and by every power? It 
was not that at any period they were, in a political 

(247 ) 

sense, of such importance as that their existence 
might be deemed dangerous, and their extinction ne- 
cessary to the safety of a state, but there was, as when 
Christian truth commenced its march, a mysterious 
power that acted on the fears of rulers, and they were 
alarmed, they knew not why. Let it be observed 
that the element of freedom is identified with the 
doctrijie of adult baptism, for on the free exercise of 
judgment and choice, it has its foundation. A Bap- 
tist, therefore, cannot coerce the will of another; and 
on the same principle, if placed under civil or reli- 
gious despotism, he will be found panting and strug- 
gling for liberty; his profession of Baptism is a pub- 
lic avowal of the rights of man to live unfettered, and 
consequently a public condemnation of oppression. 

Here, then, we find the source of the wrongs which 
they have endured : " What has the Emperor to do 
with our religion? What have the Bishops to do at 
court V were inquiries urged by some of the ancients, 
and such sentiments have at all times been uttered by 
the Baptists. Wherever they are found, whether on 
the page of history, or mixed up with existing events, 
they will appear the champions of freedom, the free- 
dom of truth and humanity — hated by tyrants, but ad- 
mired by the enlightened and the free. With the 
progress of liberty in England, they have steadily ad- 
vanced. In America only, have they found a soil ful- 
ly congenial, and there their triumphs have been glo- 
rious. Their cause is thus identified with Christian- 
ity, which secures, wherever it has dominion, liberty 

( 248 ) 

of coiiscience and of action ; and which, though 
often "cast down, could not be destroyed." 

Missions. — We have seen that to the Baptists in 
the person of Dr. Carey, and the self-denying labors of 
Fuller, Sulclifi^ and others, belongs the honor of lead- 
ing the way in the Foreign Missions of modern times. 
The work of translating the Scriptures, and that of 
evangelizing the benighted inhabitants of the East, 
still receive the patronage of our English brethren, 
and enjoy the benedictions of the Head of the Church. 
' From the last report of the Baptist Missionary So- 
ciety in England, it appears that it has 16 stations, 
occupied by 14 missionaries, besides several native 
preachers. At these stations are 10 or 12 churches, 
to which 56 persons have been added by baptism since 
the former report. 

The Serampore Mission, embraces 18 mission sta- 
tions and 11 out stations, extending over a very large 
portion of country. At these, there are about 50 Eu- 
ropean and Asiatic laborers, and the number is con- 
tinually, though gradually increasing. 

In our own country, the "Baptist Foreign Mission 
Society" formed in Boston, in 1813, in consequence 
of the change of sentiments in brother and sister Jud- 
son, and brother Rice, is the oldest of this character 
except one, the Salem Bible Translation and Foreign 
Mission Society, formed in the year 1812. From 
this society originated the 

*With this lamented brother the Monthly Concert of 
Prayer (so g'onerally observed) originated. 

( 249) 

Baptist Triennial Convention. — This Convention 
was formed in 1814. It is composed of deltgates, not 
exceeding one for every one-hundred dollars conlribu- 
ted annually to the general fund. During its recess, 
the business is transacted by a Board of Managers, 
whose duty it is to employ missionaries, determine 
the field of their labors, and their compensation, and 
in general to conduct the executive part of the mis- 
sionary concern. 

There are under the direction of the Board, 22 mis- 
sions, 3(? stations, 28 preachers, 5 primers, 4 teach- 
ers and assistants, 35 female missionaries and assis- 
tants : 15 native preachers, 22 native teaclrers and as- 
sistants: Total 109. On their way to missions, 9 
preachers, and 9 female missionaries and assistants. 
Whole number of missionaries and assistants, 127 ; 
churches, 21 ; members, 1,406 ; schools, 20, with 
nearly 1,000 scholars. The income of the convention 
for the last year, was S60,()00; expenditure 870,900. 

The stations occupied by the Board are, in Asia, 
11, in Europe, (France and Germany) 3, in Africa, 2, 
in our own country, among the Indians, 13, and one 
at Hayti. Other places are about to be occupied, 
among them, long neglected Greece. 

The Boherts' Fund Society was organised in Louis- 
ville, Ky. in May last, for the purpose of sustaining a 
mission in China. A Board of 30 Directors was chosen, 
lo which brother I. J. Roberts made over a large es- 
tate, and by which he was appointed a missionary to 
China. The whole sum surrendered by Mr. Robertt 

( 250 ) 

is S31,000» Auditional subscriptions and pledges were 
given by others, amounting to $4,715. 'J'here are 
two other brethren ready to accompany brother R. 
and two others, who wish to enter on a course of stu- 
dy preparatory to the same work. 

Brother R. having left all for Christ's sake and the 
Gospel's, will no doubt in this life and that to come, 
enjoy a glorious reward. The propriety of an organ- 
ization separate from the Board of the Convention, is 
yet to be tested. We venture, however, to [)redict 
ti)at the unusually noble deed of Mr. Roberts, will 
be properly directed by Ilim for whose glory it was done. 

The American B. Horm Mission Sooitty was organ- 
ised on the <7ih April, 1832. Its last meeting was 
held in Philadelphia in June. Their operations and 
success are rapi('ly extending. Their receipts for the j 
last )ear were nearly ^16,000. The number of mis- 
sionaries 114. Several new churches were f>:>rmed 
and a considerable number baptized. 

" Comparing the reports of the American Home 
Mission Society with our own, we appear to do little, 
but it shoulJ be understood that they have a different 
mode of reckoning — all that is done by auxiliaries, is 
considered as done by the parent society. From a 
recent calculation, it has been estimated that, the 
number of Baptist missionaries supported by the pa- 
rent and local societies is 425. The New York Con- 
vention supports 70 ; the Massachusetts 40 ; Pennsyl- 
vania 17, and all the Slates more or less. The money 
expended, is not less than 55,000 dollars.*' 

{ 251 ) 

The oldest and most consitlerabie domestic mission 
organization among- the Baptists in America, is the 
society formed at Boston in 1S02, now a component 
part of the Massachusetts convention. 

The Philadelphia Association set on foot a mission- 
ary plan, about the year 1800. By the Charleston 
Association, S. C. a missionary society was begun in 

One of the most efficient bodies in our country, is 
the New York convention, formed in 1821. Its re- 
ceipts for the last year were upwards of 814,000 ; 10,- 
000, were paid to the A. B. H. M. Society. 

Nineteen States have organised Conventions or 
General Associations, and the others will, no doubt, 
soon possess the same. In a word, the spirit of Ilonie, 
as well as Foreign Missions is rising higher and 

The B. General Tract Society v/as instituted in 
Washington in 1824. In 1826, the seat of its ope- 
rations was removed to Philadelphia. The business 
of the Society, is transacted by a Board of 21 mana- 
gers, in addition to those elected annually. The re- 
ceipts of the society in 1824, were S373 80, and in 
1835, 88,000 30. Extensive and extending efforts are 
made in behalf of the West, and about $300 have 
been subscribed, for the purpose of publishing ^Irs. 
Judson's memoirs, and some temperance tracts in 
Germany. The society has been instrumental in the 
accomplishment of much good, and demands from the 
denomination a more liberal patronage. 

( 252 ) 

The writer begs leave to say that, he agrees with 
those brethren who think a '* Publication Society," or 
"Book Concern," a desirable and necessary organiza- 
tion, in the present state of our affairs. Let him 
further suggest the propriety of rendering the most 
efficient support to our periodicals, and of obtaining 
and circulating the productions of Baptist authors. 
Some of the best books in our language, are from 
tiie pens of our brethren. 

Education. — Literary establishments have all along 
enjoyed more or less patronage from the Baptists. 
The oldest among tiiem in this country, is Brown 
University, in Providence, R. L, incorporated 1765, 
and is one of the most respectable institutions of the 
kind.* It has enjoyed the presidency of distinguish- 
ed men, and a facuhy of no ordinary character. Dr. 
Wayland is now at its head. 

Besides this, we have under our control the Water- 
ville college, Maine, the Columbian, Washington, D. 
C. the Brockport, New York, the Haddington, Pa. 
the Shurtleff, Illinois, the Georgetown, Ky. and one 
in Granville, Ohio. In addition to these there are 
several literary institutions cf a high order. There 
are ten, either wholly, or in ]^■ t\. theological; one 
wholly theological, at Alton, Il-inois, founded in 
1835, and having now 25 stud< jts, one st New'un, 

*An unsuccessful attempt was n ade by ]>r. Ezra Styles 
and others, to deprive the Baptists cf this institution, by 
drawing ihe charter in so ariful a manner 3.S to gi't'e its 

control to Congreg-ationalists. 

( 253 ) 

Mass. with 42 students, and one at Covington, Ky. 
just going into operation. The whole number of 
colleges &c. is 35. Should not the Baptists patron- 
ise their own institutions, in preference to others? 
We think there can be but one answer to this ques- 

In England, the education of pious ycung men 
claimed the attention of the Baptists, as early as 1704, 
and in the year 1715, the charity school upon Horse- 
ley-down, was founded by the Protestant dissenters, 
in which the Baptists sustained an equal share. 

Here we may notice the subject of Sunday School 
instruction. In a brief history of the Seventh day bap- 
tists, of Ephrata, Lancaster county. Pa. by Dr. W. M. 
Fahnestock, it is said that " it is not known in what 
year exactly, the Sabbath school was commenced. 
HcEoker came to Ephrata in 1739, and it is presumed 
that he began it soon after he took up his residence 
there.-" This school precedes that begun in England 
by Robert Raikes, at least 40 years. 

The American Sunday School Union, has to a con- 
siderable extent been supported by the Baptists. In 
Massachusetts, is a Baptist Sunday School Union, 
whose receipts during the last year were over 8,000 
dollars. A New England S. S. Union has been recently 
commenced. In other States they are projected, and 
the writer hopes soon to see a general Union of the 
denomination upon this subject. 

The number of our schools in the United States, is 

( 254 ) 

computed at 3,000 with perhaps 200,000 children ; 
in many of the churches, are flourishing bible classes. 

Bible Societies. — The British and Foreign Bible So- 
ciety, the oldest in existence, originated with a Welsh 
Baptist minister. The denomination in England have 
through this society done much good, and have also 
been honored by the unparallelled labors of their la- 
mented Carey, in the work of translating the Scrip- 
tures into many of the Eastern languages. 

In this country, we have until recently been cor= 
nected with the '• American B. Society^ in both its home 
and foreign operations. Their decision made lately, to 
withold aid from those versions, in which the original 
word for imnoersion is translated, and not transferred (as 
in the English version now in use) has been considered 
a just reason for the separate action of the Baptists, 
in the great work of giving the pure scriptures to the 
nations; and as they have already translated the bible 
into more languages than all the other sects of chris- 
tians,* and their resources are ample, they have no 

*So long ago as 1815, it was announced by the Seram- 
pore brethren, that they had translated the Scriptures into 
the languages spoken by more than half the inhabitants of 
the globe. The first translation of the New Testament into 
the Chinese language was effected by them into 1814, 
though for want or funds, the "whole bible was not comple- 
ted until 1822, Why has this work been covered up and 
Morrison's version pressed upon cur patronage. 

A correspondance has recentlj been carried on between 
the American B. Society, and Mr. Dyer, a Pedo-baptist 
missionary, upon the subject of printing the Chinese lan- 
guage upon metal types instead of wooden blocks. In a 

(255 ) 

doubt, that their secession will be fraught with abund- 
ont benefit. A new society has been formed, called 
" the American and Foreign Bible Society. ^^ It is a 
provisional organization effected in New York, sub- 
ject to the revision of a general meeting to be held in 
Piiiladelphia in April next. Several thousand dol- 
lars have been already furnished for its treasury.* 
Auxiliaries will multiply, until the whole denomina- 
tion shall tender its most liberal support. In Connec- 
ticut an auxiliary state society has been formed. 
, The formation of the A. and F. B. Society, consti- 
tutes a new era in our history. We are thrown upon 
our own resources in the Bible cause, and under a 
weighty responsibility to the destitute. We furthor 
conceive it to be the first step in the desirable seces- 
sion from all those compacts, into which we have en- 
tered with a very charitable consent to keep back a 
part of the truth. Let the whole denomination come 
up to this enterprise, in a spirit of love to God and 
tile souls of men, and a blessing large and rich must 
rest upon it. 

Periodicals. — These are numerous and respectable, 

memoir of 1814, printed at Serarapore, is this statement, 
" preparations are making for printing the Bible in the 
Chinese with moveable raetal types, &c." How is it 
that the labors of Baptists are left so much out of view ! 

* An appropriation has just been made of 82,500, to the 
Baptist Miss, society, London, for the printing of the Ben- 
galee bible, translated by brother Yates, who is said to be 
one of the best oriental scholars now living. The Bengalee 
is spoken by about thirty-two millions of people. 

( 256 ) 

(some of them of the first order) both in this country 
and in England. 

Among us, there are 1 triennial, 1 quarterly, 7 
monthly, and 16 weekly publications. Though a few 
are pretty well supported, they do not generally re- 
ceive the support they justly claim. 

The Christian Review edited by Professor Knowles, 
is a valuable quarterly. The Boston Recorder says, 
"the amount of Baptist matter in it will diminish its 
circulation among other sects and men of no sect." 
On this the American Baptist remarks,'" we presume 
it will, for it is a rare thing that a Pedo-baptist ever 
reads, certainly that he ever subscribes for a Baptist 
periodical. Baptists are to a great extent, subscri- 
bers for Pedo-baptist works. Is it because Baptists 
are really more liberal, less sectarian than other de- 
nominations? Such we religiously believe to be the 
fact, &;c." It is to be hoped the Review will be li- 
berally patronised by Baptists, for whose instruction 
it is specially designed. 

Revivals. — On this subject we proposed a separate 
chapter, but as the volume has already swelled to 
an unexpected number of pages, we can offer but a 
few remarks upon it. And, first of all, revivals of re- 
ligion are no new thing among Baptists ; they follovv- 
ed the labours of our fathers, almost wherever they 
went, and they were powerful too. In Kentucky, 
Tennessee, &ic. some of the most wondrous displays 
of Divine power have been witnessed. Again, the 
usual attendants of late revivals, are the same as those 

( 257 ) 

of former times. Sudden conversions were also fre» 
quent. In a word, we question whether any preach^ 
ing has been attended with more of the manifest 
power of God, than that of the Baptists, especially in 
this country. Protracted, and even camp meetings* 
were often held, in some of which hundreds were 

We will only add that, we cannot justly be accu- 
sed of a sectarian spirit in our revivals, as ministers 
of other Evangelical denominations are, as a general 
thing, invited to participate, and the preaching is of 
that kind, which is calculated to awaken and convert. 

Observations and suggestions. — Those who have un- 
dertaken to prepare a full history of our denomina- 
tion, have experienced great difficulty, for want of 
proper records. We would suggest to associations 
and churches, the propriety of exercising great care 
and judgment, in the preservation of all the facts con- 
nected with their origin and progress. And, to ob- 
tain the most complete history, let some suitable per- 
son be appointed by the associations in each State ; 
then when that of the States respectively is furnished, 
a general history can be compiled without difficulty. 

Again, it has been found that many brethren in the 
old churches, not only aided them while living, but 
made provision for them when gone. Is it not the 
bounden duty of members of churches to do thf: same 
now 1 And, if more would regard this matter proper- 

*Camp meetings had their rise with the Baptist and 
Presbyterian Churches, in the Western States. 

{ 258 ) 

ly, or if the churches would see that all the members 
gave their proportion for their support, foreign aid 
would not be so often necessary. 

Further, churches that arc small and feeble, too 
frequently become disheartened, and of course make 
little or no effort to extend their borders. Let such 
remember and consider the cases of the Sandy Creek, 
and Little River churches, mentioned in this work. 
Besides, when members of churches have removed to 
places where there are no Baptists, or but a few scat- 
tered ones, they have become discouraged, yielded to 
the entreaties of others, and relinquished their prin- 
ciples. Persons similarly situated, should rather 
imitate the example of Mrs. Scammon, " who after 
living 40 years a solitary life, as to communion with 
her brethren, was finally the means of spreadingBap- 
tist sentiments, and laying the foundation for some of 
the oldest churches in the New Hampshire associa- 
tion." She laboured diligently in the midst of re- 
proach. She purchased more than one hundred co- 
pies of " Norcott upon Baptism," and distributed them 
through the neighborhood. She did not live to see 
the fruits of her labor, but shortly after her death, a 
Pedo-baptist minister, a physician, and a majority of a 
congregational church, and many others were bapti- 
zed, and four churches formed. In view therefore, 
of the force of truth as displayed in this instance, and 
many others every year, of the conversion of the mi- 
isters and members of other denominations to our 
sentiments, (whilst wellinformed Baptists rarely yield) 

( 259 ) 

we suggest the propriety of each family being well 
supplied with books written by Baptist authors, not 
only on the subject of baptism, but on theology in 

Conclusion. — "A striking particular observable on 
the face of our history is the existence of a denomination 
apparently so disjointed and multifarious. So large 
a body, in tolerable consistency and co-herence, 
without the ordinary coercives of creeds and confes- 
sions, of synods, councils and judicatories, of presby- 
ters, bishops, and ecclesiastical authorities, is a rare 
combination — a singular example of what the world 
would deem a fortuitious consent. There is among 
us no spiritual legisl.':tion, no mandatory ordinations 
issuing from Conventions, nor conferences, nor gene- 
ral assemblies : So that whatever of good understand- 
ing or harmony of feeling may exist among us, is a 
state of things, the origin and success of which, must 
be sought in principles of union other than those or- 
dinarily exhibited in church history. Do we arrogate 
too much to ourselves, or derogate too much from 
others, when we intimate the belief that our general 
consistency, as a body, is the result of a conscientious 
adherence to the Gospel Standard ?" 

That there are faults among us we do not deny ; 
that some walk in a manner unworthy their vocation 
is a lamentable truth. But while some are deplora- 
bly anti-practical, we may say that they are unbap- 
tistlike, for our baptism is a holy assumption of reli-- 
gious faith and duty. 

{ 260 ) 

Finally, brethren, let us thank God for the abun^ 
dant blessings bestowed upon us, and press forward 
in increasing harmony, in holy action, and in a near- 
er assimilation to the example of our blessed Master 
and his holy Apostles, so shall our numbers still more 
rapidly increase, in this world we shall enjoy the 
love of Christ, and so shall an entrance be ministered 
to us in the everlasting kingdom above. Amen. 

KoTE. — We proposed in the body of the work to give at the 
conclusion, a list of the churches in Pennsylvania, but vi'ant of room 
compels us to omit it. 

( 261 ) 























N. Hampshire 


















' 62 



Rhode Island 














New York 





4,304 68,231 

New Jersey- 


























D. of Columbia 












North Carolina 







South Carolina 


























































































Total in 1835 





25,224 452,000 

Total in ISU 





24,386 424,282 








( 262 ) 













Free Will Baptists 






Seventh Day Baptists 






Six Principle Baptists 





Total in 1335 






Regular Baptists 







Total in the U. States 






7'otal 171 British Amer. 







Total in the U. S. and 

British Possessiotis. 





















Scotland and Ireland 




* 10,000 

General Bap. in England 






Continental Baptists 









Other parts of Asia 









Grand Total 







* Computed. 

From the statements presented in the preceding 
pages, it will appear that we have in the U. States 
365 associations, 252 of which reported 25,224 bap- 
tisms within 12 months, and a clear increase of^ 27,- 
718 members. In 6,319 churches, we have 452,000 
members. The Free Will Baptists are not included 
in this enumeration. In 750 churches they have 
33,882 members. In British America we have 172 
churches with 25,195 communicants. 

It is probable that we have not less than 250 church- 
es, whose numbers we have not ascertained- The 
number of their members may be computed at 1(),00(?. 
And if in the 113 associations from which no returns 
have been recently received, ther'^ should have been an 
increase proportionate with those whose minutes of 
last year were furnished, we should have in the U. S. 
and British Posessions about 7,600 churches, with 

( 263 ) 

340,000 members. The number baptised in the year 
would be about 35,000. 

Supposing 7 adherents to one communicant, the 
Baptist population in the U. S. alone, will be about 
four millions. The total number of members in 
1812, was a little over 200,000. 

Brief view of other denominations. 

Methodist Episcopal Church. — Founded 1729, by 
John Wesley, 22 annual conferences, 2,608 travel- 
ling preachers, 652,528 members. Increase in the 
year 13,744. In the total number are included all 
who are upon trial, and who form a large proportion. 

Protestant Methodists. — Members computed at 30,- 

Presbyterians. — 25 synods, 120 Presbyteries, 1973 
ordained ministers, 274,048 communicants. 

Cumberland Presbyterians. — 450 ministers, 50,000 

Other Presbyterians. — 437 congregations, 28,000 

Congregationalists. — 1,100 churches, 150,000 mem- 

Episcopalians. — The number of ministers is 802, 
congregations computed at 830. 

Lutherans. — .Ministers 267, congregations 750, 
communicants, 62,266. 

German Reformed Church. — 180 ministers, 600 
congregations, 30,000 members. 

Reformed Dutch Church. — 192 ministers, 21,044 

( 264 ) 

Friends. — 8 yearly meetings in the United States, 
and 2 in Europe ; the whole computed to include about 
150,000 members. Number of Societies in the U. S. 
450 or 500. 

Christians. — They immerse, and only on a profes- 
sion of faith. Churches 1000, members 30,000. 

The Tunkers are said to have 40 or 50 churches; 
the Mennonites 200. 

United Brethren.- '2>^ ministers, 24 congregations, 
5,745 members. 

Unitarians. — About 200 congregations : Universat- 
ists, about 600. 

The Roman Catholics are variously estimated at 
from 500,000, to 1,500,000, embracing the entire